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S. G. and E. L. ELBERT 



AUTOGRAPHS 

FOB 

FREEDOM. 

BY MRS. HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, 

AND 

Cjurttj-iiD? Dtjirr imni W\\m. 



L ONBON: 

SAMPSON LOW, SON & CO.; AND JOHN CASSELL, 

LUDGATE HILL : 
AND ALL BOOKSELLERS. 
1853. 



iv 



PREFACE. 



to the deep wrongs of the bondman, or cause one sincere 
and earnest effort to promote emancipation, we believe 
that the kind contributors, who have geneiously respon- 
ded to our call, not less than the members of our Society, 
will feel themselves gratified and compensated. 

The proceeds of the sale of the " Autographs tor 
Freedom " will be devoted to the dissemination of 
light and truth on the subject of slavery throughout the 
country. 

On behalf of <; The Rochester Ladies' Anti- Slavery 
Society, 9 : 



JULIA GRIFFITHS, Secretary. 



$nfm in % ^uglisjr (Mint. 



Few better evidences of the deep interest which most 
of the leading minds in America take in the question of 
slavery can be afforded than are contained in this book. 
The ablest men and women of the country have here set 
their hands to a solemn protest against its enormities. 
Mrs. Stowe, who has achieved a reputation as widely 
extended as it is well earned, — who has, both in this 
country and in the United States, aroused thousands to a 
sense of the guilt and wrong of slavery who never spent a 
thought upon it before, — has her name side by side witli 
that of Horace Mann, one of the most brilliant orators in the 
Union. Whittier, whose sweet strains have delighted 
thousands wherever the English language is spoken, finds 
himself in company with Frederick Douglass, who has ex- 
perienced all those horrors whose bare recital has made 
us shudder ; and with the Earl of Carlisle, who is setting 
an example full of promise to the men of his order ; and 
with the son of the immortal Wilberforce. Widely differing 
as these do upon the majority of public questions, there 
is not a shade of difference in their opinions as to the 
iniquity of slavery. 

Linked as we are with America by the ties of kindred, 
commerce, language, literature, and political sympathies, 
upon nothing which affects the destiny and progress of 
the Union can the English people help looking with the 
deepest interest. There is not a man of intellect or judg- 
ment on either side of the Atlantic who does not acknow- 
ledge the fearful importance of the slavery question, even if 
it be considered in a political point of view only, and 
laying aside all thoughts of its guilt and immorality. It 



vi 



PREFACE. 



already threatens to cause the disruption of the great 
American confederation, upon which we all look with so 
much hope and pride ; and there exists not a doubt, that, 
sooner or later, all the wrongs it has caused will be atoned 
for by a terrible social convulsion, if not remedied by the 
timely and peaceful concession of the rights of the negro 
race. We can hardly wonder, then, that the whole 
subject should possess such momentous importance in the 
eyes of all earnest-thinking, patriotic men and women in 
America. Assuredly, if in the fkce of the tremendous 
difficulties, deeply rooted prejudice, self-interest, and a 
host of base passions, which beset them in arguing the 
cause of the slave, they occasionally commit errors of 
judgment, or make use of means which we, farther re- 
moved from the scene of action, may deem inexpedient 
or ill-timed, — no Englishman should regard their self- 
denying efforts with any other feeling than one of deep 
sympathy. Nay, we should look upon their struggle 
with the greater admiration, when we know that the 
church in America has abandoned its post, and is un- 
faithful to its mission ; that the clergy, who, of all others, 
should be the last to recognise any inequality in men as 
men, have sought to hide the abominations of slave- 
holding under the cloak of Divine sanction. We all 
know the vast moral power which England possesses 
in the United States, and we may readily conjecture how 
comforting it must be for those w r ho are battling for the 
rights of a down-trodden race, in the face of a hostile 
senate, a hostile press, and a hostile aristocracy of slave- 
holders, to hear a cheer of encouragement from those 
across the water who feel that the position of the Anglo- 
Saxon race in the future of the world, depends upon the 
respect it now shews for the sacred rights, and the 
inherent nobility of humanity. 



CONTENTS, 



PAGE 

Be up and doing Hon. Wm. H. Seward . 9 

Caste and Christ Mrs. H. E. B. Stowe . 11 

Letter from the Earl of Carlisle to Mrs. H. B. Stowe ... 13 

Momma Charlotte Mrs. C. M. KirTcland . 16 

A Name . Hon. Horace 'Mann . . 19 

Letter from Joseph Sturge 20 

Slavery and Polygamy R. Hildreth . . . . 20 

The Way John G. WhitHer . . 22 

The Slave and Slave -Owner .... Miss Sedgwick . . . 23 

Letter from the Bishop of Oxford . . . 2o 

Hide the Outcasts Rev. William Goodell . 2o 

Can Slaves rightfully resist and fight r Rev. Geo. W. Perkins. 28 

Death in Life Ebenezer Button ... 33 

True Reform Mrs, C. W. H. Ball . 34 

How Long ? J.M. Whitfield ... 35 

Letter from Wilson Armistead 42 

Impromptu Stanzas J. M. Eells .... 44 

John Murray (of Glasgow) .... James M Cune SmitJi . 46 

Power of American Example . . . Leicis Tappan ... 50 

The Gospel as a Remedy for Slavery . ,, ... 52 

Letter from Rev. C. G. Finney 54 

The Slave's Prayer Miss C. E. Be&her. . 55 

The Struggle Hon, Charles Sumner . 56 



YIU 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 



Work and Wait . . . 
The Great Emancipation 



Horace Greeley . . 
G err it Smith . 
Rev. John Pierpont. 



56 
58 
-58 



Ode 



Passages in the Life of a Slave Woman. Annie Parker ... 61 



Damascus in 1851 Rev. F. W. Holland . 73 

Religious, Moral, and Political Duties. LincUey Murray Moore. 80 
Why Slavery is in the Constitution . James G. Birney . . 81 

The Two Altars Mrs. H. B. Stoice . . 88 

Outline of a Man Rev. B. R. Raymond . 103 

The Heroic Slave Woman .... Rev. S. J. May ... 112 

Kossuth John Thomas . . .115 

The Heroic Slave Frederick Douglass . .120 

A Plea for Free Speech Prof. J. H. Raymond . 167 

Placido Prof. W. G. Allen . 178 



To the Friends of Emancipation 184 



Story Telling . 
The Man- Owner 



Rev. E. Buckingham . 70 



AUTOGRAPHS FOE FREEDOM. 



BE UP AND DOING. 

Can nothing be done for Freedom? Yes, much can be 
done. Everything can be done. Slavery can be confined 
within its present bounds. It can be meliorated. It can be, 
and it must be abolished. The task is as simple as its per- 
formance would be beneficent and as its rewards would be 
glorious. It requires only that we follow this plain rule of con- 
duct and course of activity, namely, to do, everywhere, and on 
es r ery occasion what we can, and not to neglect nor refuse to 
do what we can at any time, because at that precise time and 
on that particular occasion we cannot do more. Circum- 
stances define possibilities. When we have done our best 
to shape them and to make them propitious, we may rest 
satisfied that superior wisdom has, nevertheless, controlled 
them and us, and that it will be satisfied with us if we do 
all the good that shall then be found possible. 

But we can, and we must begin deeper and lower than 
the composition and combination of factions. Wherein do 
the security and strength of slavery consist? You answer, 
in the constitution of the United States, and in the consti- 
tutions and laws of the slave-holding States. Not at all. It 
is in the erroneous sentiments of the American people. Con- 
stitutions and laws can no more rise above "the virtue of the 
people than the limpid stream can climb above its native 
spring. Inculcate the love of freedom and the sacredness of 
the rights of man under the paternal roof. See to it, that 
they are taught in the schools and in the churches. Reform 
your own codes and expurgate the vestiges of slavery. Ee- 



10 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM, 



form your own manners and customs and rise above the 
prejudices of caste. Receive the fugitive who lays his weary 
limbs at your door, and defend him as you would your house- 
hold gods, for he, not they, has power to bring down blessings 
on your hearth. Correct your error that slavery has any 
constitutional guarantee that may not be released, and that 
ought not to be relinquished. Say to slavery, when it shows 
its bond and demands its pound of flesh, that if it draws one 
drop of blood its life shall pay the forfeit. Inculcate that 
the free States can exercise the rights of hospitality and 
humanity, that Congress knows no finality and can debate, 
that Congress can at least mediate with the slave-holding 
States, that at least future generations may be bought and 
given up to freedom. Do all this, and inculcate all this, in 
the spirit of moderation and benevolence, and not of reta- 
liation and fanaticism, and you will ultimately bring the 
parties of this country into a common condemnation, and 
even the slave-holding States themselves into a renunciation 
of slavery, which is not less necessary for them than for the 
common security and welfare. Whenever the public mind 
shall be prepared, and the public conscience shall demand 
the abolition of slavery, the way to do it will open before us , 
and then mankind will be surprised at the ease with which 
the greatest of social and "political evils can be removed. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



CASTE AND CHRIST. 

" He is not ashamed to call them brethren." 

Ho ! thou dark and weary stranger 
From the tropic's palmy strand, 

Bowed with toil, with mind benighted, 
What wouldst thou upon oar land ? 

Am I not, O man, thy brother ? 

Spake the stranger, patiently, 
All that makes thee, man, immortal, 

Tell me, dwells it not in me ? 

I, like thee, have joy, have sorrow ; 

I, like thee, have love and fear ; 
I, like thee, have hopes and longings 

Far beyond this earthly sphere. 

Thou art happy, — I am sorrowing ; 

Thou art rich, and I am poor ; 
In the name of our one Father, 

Do not spurn me from your door. 

Thus the dark one spake, imploring, 
To each stranger passing nigh ; 

But each child and man and woman, 
Priest and Levite passed him by. 

Spurned of men, — despised, rejected, 

Spurned from school and church and hall, 

Spurned from business and from pleasure, 
Sad he stood, apart from all. 

Then I saw a form all glorious, 

Spotless as the dazzling light, 
As He passed, men veiled their faces, 

And the earth, as heaven, grew bright. 



12 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Spake he to the dusky stranger, 
Awe-struck there on bended knee, 

Rise ! for I have called thee brother, 
I am not ashamed of thee. 

When I wedded mortal nature 
To my Godhead and my throne, 

Then I made all mankind sacred, 
Sealed all human for mine own. 

By Myself, the Lord of ages, 

I have sworn to right the wrong ; 

I have pledged my w T ord, unbroken, 
For the weak against the strong. 

And upon my Gospel banner 
I have blazed in light the sign — 

He who scorns his lowliest brother, 
Never shall have hand of mine. 

Hear the word ! — who fight for freedom ! 

Shout it in the battle's van ! 
Hope ! for bleeding human nature! 

Christ the God, is Christ the man ! 




And over, July 22, 1852. 



• 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



13 



LETTER FROM THE EARL OF CARLISLE TO THE 
SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY. 

London, July 8, 1852. 
Madam, — I should be very sorry indeed to refuse any request 
addressed to me from the " Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery 
Association." 

At the same time I really should feel at a loss what to send, 
hut as I am on the point of sending off a letter to the authoress 
of Uncle Tom's Cabin, I venture to submit a copy of it to those 
who I feel sure must be fond of such a countrywoman. 

Your very faithful Servant, 



London, July 8, 1852. 

Madam, — I have allowed some time to elapse before I thanked 
you for the great honour and kindness you did me in sending to 
me, from yourself, a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin. I thought it due 
to the subject of which I perceived that it treated, not to send 
a mere acknowledgment, as I confess from a motive of policy I 
am apt to do, upon the first arrival of the book. I therefore 
determined to read, before I wrote. 

Having thus read, it is not in the stiff and conventional form 
of compliment, still less in the technical language of criticism, 
that I am about to speak of your w T ork. I return my deep and 
solemn thanks to Almighty God, who has led and enabled you 
to write such a book. 

I do feel, indeed, the most thorough assurance that in His 
good providence such a book cannot have been written in vain. 
I have long felt that slavery is by far the topping question of 
the world and age we live in, involving all that is most thril- 
ling in heroism, and most touching in distress,— in short, the 
real epic of the universe. The self-interest of the parties most 
nearly concerned on the one hand, the apathy and ignorance of 



14 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



unconcerned observers on the other, have left these august pre- 
tensions to drop very much out of sight, and hence my rejoicing 
that a writer has appeared who will be read, and must be felt, 
and that happen what may to the transactions of slavery, they 
will no longer be suppressed, " carent quia vate sacra." 

I trust that what I have just said was not required to show 
the entire sympathy I entertain with respect to the main truth 
and leading scope of your high argument, but we live in a world 
only too apt to regard the accessories and accidents of a subject 
above its real and vital essence ; no one can know so well as 
you how much the external appearance of the negro detracts 
from the romance and sentimentality which undoubtedly might 
attach to his position and his wrongs, and on this account it 
does seem to me proportionately important that you should have 
brought to your portraiture great grace of style, great power of 
language, a play of humour which relieves and brightens even 
the dark depth of the back-ground which you were called upon 
to reveal, a force of pathos which, to give it the highest praise, 
does not lay behind even ail the dread reality, and, above all, a 
variety, a descrimination, and a truth in the delineation of cha- 
racter, which even to my own scanty and limited experience of 
the society you describe accredits itself instantaneously and 
irresistibly. Seldom, indeed, could I more forcibly apply the 
line of a very favourite poet, — 

" And truths divine came mended from that tongue." 

I have been told, that in an English periodical the quality 
of genius has been denied to your book. The motives which 
must have guided its composition will probably have made you 
supremely indifferent to mere criticism, especially to any which 
argues so much obfuscat ion both of head and heart. Your work 
has genius of the highest order, and it is the lowest of its merits. 

There is one point which, in face of all that your book has 
aimed at and achieved, I think of extremely slight importance, 
but which I will nevertheless just mention, if only to show that 
I have not been bribed into this fervour of admiration. I think, 
then, that whenever you speak of England and her institutions, 
it is in a tone which faih to do them fair justice. I do not know 
what distinct charges you think could be established against 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



16 



our aristocracy and capitalists, but you generally convey the 
impression that the same oppressions in degree, thongh not in 
kind, might be brought home to them which are now laid to 
the charge of Southern slave-holders. Exposed to the same 
ordeal, they might very probably not stand the test better. All 
I contend for is, that the circumstances in which they are 
placed, and the institutions by which they are surrounded, 
make the parallel wholly inapplicable. I cannot but suspect 
that your view has been in many respects derived from com- 
posers of fiction and others among ourselves who, writing with 
distinguished ability, have been more successful in delineating 
and dissecting the mcrbid features of our modern society, than 
in detecting the principle which is at fault, or suggesting the 
appropriate remedy. My own belief is, liable, if you please, 
to national bias, that our capitalists are very much the same 
sort of persons as your own in the Northern States, with the 
same mixtures and inequalities of motive and action. With 
respect to our aristocracy, I should really be tempted to say 
that, tried by their conduct on the question of Free Trade, they 
do not sustain an unfavourable comparison with your upper- 
most classes. Allow me to add, that when in one place you 
refer to those who have already emancipated their slaves, I 
think a case more directly in point than the proceedings of the 
Hungarian nobles might have been selected : such, at least, I 
feel sure would have been the case, if the passages in question 
had been written by one who certainly was keenly alive to the 
faults of England, but who did justice to her good qualities and 
deeds with a heartiness exceeding that of most of her own sons, 
— your great and good Dr. Channing. 

I need not repeat how irrelevant, after all, I feel what I have 
said upon this head to be to the main issues involved in your 
Work ; there is little doubt, too, that as a nation we have our 
special failings, and one of them probably is that we care too 
little about what other nations think of them. 

Nor can I wish my countrymen ever to forget that their own 
past history should prevent them from being forward in cast- 
ing accusations on their transatlantic brethren on the subject 
of slavery. With great ignorance of its actual miseries and 



1 6 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



horrors, there is also among us great ignorance of the fearful 
perplexities and difficulties with which its solution could not 
fail to be attended. I feel, however, that there is a considerable 
difference between reluctant acquiescence in what you inherit 
from the past, and voluntary fresh enlargements and reinforce- 
ments of the system. For instance, I should not say that the 
mode in which such an enactment as the Fugitive Slave Law 
has been considered in this country has at all erred upon the 
side of overmuch indignation. 

I need not detain you longer; I began my letter with return- 
ing thanks to Almighty God for the appearance of your work, 
and I offer my humble and ardent prayer to the same Supreme 
Source that it may have a marked agency in hastening the 
great consummation, which I should feel it a practical atheism 
not to believe must be among the unfulfilled purposes of the 
Divine power and love. 

I have the honour to be, Madam, 

Your sincere admirer and well-wisher, 

CARLISLE. 

Mrs. Beecheu Stowe. 



MOMMA CHARLOTTE. 

" Slavery is merely an idea !" said Mr. S ; " the slave s 

are, in reality, better off than we are, if they had sense enough 
to know it They are taken care of— (they must be, yon 
know, because it is the master's interest to keep them in good 
condition, and a man will always elo what is for his interest). 
They get rid of all responsibility —which is what we are 
groaning under ; and if they were only let alone, they would 
be happy enough,— happier than their masters, I dare say." 

" You think it, then, anything but kindness to urge their 
emancipation ?" 

« To be sure I do ! and I would have every one that teacLc3 
them to be discontented hung up without judge or jury." 

< ; You seem particularly interested for the slave,—" 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



17 



11 Interested ! I would have every one of them sent beyond 
the Eocky Mountains, if I could, — or into * kingdom come,' for 
that matter. They are the curse of the country ; but as long 
as they are property, I would shoot any man that put bad ideas 
in their heads or that interfered with my management of them, 
as I would shoot a dog that killed my sheep." 

" But do they never get what you call 4 bad ideas' from any 
but white people ?" 

" 0, there is no knowing where they get them, — but they 
are full of 'em. No matter how kind you are to them, they are 
never satisfied !" 

" I,4?an tell you where they get some of their ideas of slavery, 
if you will allow me." 

" Certainly, — I am always glad of information." 

"Well, — I will take up your time with nothing but actual 
facts, for the truth of which I will be answerable. In a West- 
ern tour, not many years since, I saw one day a young lady, 
fair as a lily, and with a sweet expression of countenance, 
walking in the street with a little black girl whom she held by 
the hand. The little girl was about six years old, neatly 
dressed and very clean ; and on her neck she had a little gauze 
shawl that somebody had given her, the border of which was 
composed of the figure of the American Eagle many times 
repeated, each impression accompanied by the word ' Liberty/ 
woven into the fabric. 

" This curious decoration, together with the wistful look of 
the child's face, and the benevolent air of the young lady, with 
whom I was slightly acquainted, led me to ask some questions, 
which were answered with an air in which modesty and sen- 
sibility were blended. I learned that the young lady had 
undertaken the trying task of accompanying the little girl 
through the place — which was a considerable village — for the 
purpose of collecting the sum of fifty dollars, with which to 
purchase the freedom of the child. 

" 1 And how,' said I, 1 did you become interested in the poor 
little thing ?' 

. " ' She belongs to a member of my family,' said Miss C , 

with a blush ; ' to my aunt, Mrs. Jones.' 

B 



18 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



" * And how did she find her way to the north ?' 

14 ' Her mother, who is the servant of my aunt, got leave to 
bring Violet along with her, when her mistress came here for 
the summer.' 

" 4 But both mother and child are free by the mere circum- 
stance of being brought here. — 1 

" 1 O, but Momma Charlotte promised her mistress that 
she would not leave her, nor let Violet do so, if she might 
bring the child with her, and beg money to buy her. She 
says she does not care for freedom for herself.' 

" I could not do less than go with the good girl for awhile, 
to assist a little in her labour of love, which in the end, and 
with a good deal of difficulty, was finally accomplished. It 
was not until after this that I became acquainted with Momma 
Charlotte, the mother of Violet, and learned a few of the 
particulars of a story which had made her 'not care for 
freedom.' 

" Momma Charlotte was the mother of ten children, — six 
daughters and four sons. Her husband had been a free black, 
— a carpenter, able to keep a comfortable home for his family, 
hiring his wife cf her master. At the time of the Southampton 
insurrection, this man was among the suspected, and, on sus- 
picion, not proof, he was taken up, tried after the fashion of 
that time, and hung, with several others, all between sunset 
and sunrise of a single day. 

" ' Ke was innocent, — he had had no hand in the matter, as 
God is my judge !' said poor Momma Charlotte. 

" This was but the beginning of troubles. A sense of inse- 
curity made the sale of slaves more vigorous than ever. Char- 
lotte's children were sold, one by one — no two together — the 
boys for the sugar country, — the girls for 1 the New Orleans 
market,' whence they were dispersed, she never knew where. 

" 1 All gone!' she said; ''where I could never see 'em nor 
hear from 'em. I do n't even know where one of 'em is!' 

» 4 And Violet?' 

" ' O yes, — I mean all but Violet. She's all I've got in the! 
world, and I want to keep her. I begged Missus to let me 
keep jist one! and she said if I could get any body to buy her 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



19 



for me, I might have her, — for you know I couldn't own her 
myself, 'cause I'm a slave.' 

" ' But you are no longer a slave, Momma Charlotte ; your 
mistress by bringing you here voluntarily has freed you, — 9 

" { Yes, — I know, — but I promised, you see ! And I don't care 
to be free. I'm old, and my children's gone, and my heart's broke. 
I ha'n'tno more courage. If I can keep Violet, it's all I expect. 
My mistress is good enough to me, — I live pretty easy.' 

" Such was Momma Charlotte's philosophy, but her face told 
through what sufferings such philosophy had been acquired. 
A fixed grief sat on her brow ; since the judicial murder of her 
husband she had never been known to laugh, — hardly to smile. 
Her eyes were habitually cast on the ground, and her voice 
seemed always on the brink of tears. She was what you call 
' dissatisfied' I think, Mr. S 

11 O, you have selected an extreme case ! those things very 
seldom happen." (Seldom !) " After all, you see the poor old 
thing knew what was right ; she showed the right spirit, — 99 

" Yes, — she, — but her owners f 19 

Here Mr. S was sure he saw a friend at a distance to 

whom it was necessary he should speak immediately ; so he 
darted off, and I lost the benefit of his defence of the pecu- 
liarities of the peculiar institution. 



A NAME, 

OX BEING ASKED FOR KIS AUTOGRAPH. 

Why ask a Name ? Small is the good it brings ; 
Names are but breath; deeds, deeds alone are Ihings. 




West Newton, Oct. 23, 1852. 

B2 



20 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY. 

In compliance with the request that I would send a few lines 
for insertion in " The Anti-Slavery Autograph," I may say that 
I cannot express too strongly my conviction that, if there be 
truth in Revelation, it is the duty of every Christian to promote, 
by all legitimate means, not only the universal and total, but 
the immediate abolition of any system under which man can 
hold property in his fellow man. Perhaps few of those who 
take this view of the subject are sufficiently careful to avoid, as 
far as possible, any participation in, or encouragement of slavery, 
by refusing to use the produce of the unrequited toil of the slave. 
Yet until we do this, I think we have little right to expect the 
Divine blessing upon cur efforts to promote the abolition of 
slavery and of the slave trade. 




SLAVERY AND POLYGAMY: DOCTORS OP 
DIVINITY IN A DILEMMA. 

An argument is derived from the Jewish Scriptures in favour 
of slave-holding, very plausible and weighty with that large 
class of persons so poorly gifted with hearts as to find it difficult 
to discriminate between the letter that killeth and the spirit 
that maketh alive. The Old Testament shows clearly enough, 
that slave-holding was tolerated among the Jews; and it being 
assumed that the system of Jewish society, or, at all events, 
that the Mosaic code, was framed after a Divine model, it is 
alleged to be at least supererogatory, if not actually impious, to- 
denounce as inconsistent with Christianity that which God 
permitted to his chosen and selected people. Are zee to 



AUTOGRAPHS FOll FREEDOM. 



21 



pretend to be better and wiser than Abraham and Moses, 
David and Solomon ? 

A recent application of this same argument can hardly fail 
to operate with many, as what the mathematicians call a 
recluctio ad absurdum ; a proof, that is, of the falsity of a pro- 
position assumed, by exhibiting its operation in other cases. 

The famous Mormon doctrine of the plurality of wives, 
now at length openly avowed by the heads and apostles of 
that new sect, is upheld and justified by this very same 
argument. It plainly appears from the Old Testament, that 
polygamy, equally with slavery, was one of the social insti- 
tutions of the Jews, recognised and sanctioned by their laws. 
And borrowing the tone, and indeed the very words of our 
pro-slavery theologians, — " Do you pretend," asks Orson Hyde, 
one of the Mormon apostles, addressing himself to those who 
question this new privilege of the saints, — "Do you pretend 
to set yourselves above the teaching of God, and the example 
of his chosen people ?" 

Nor does the analogy between the two cases stop here. 
According to the pro-slavery biblical argument, slave-holding 
is only to be justified in Christian slave-holders, who, in 
holding slaves, have in view not only selfish benefit or ad- 
vantage, but the good of the slaves, (who are not able to take 
care of themselves,) and the glory of God. According to the 
Mormon biblical argument, polygamy is to be allowed only 
to the saints ; and that, not for any sensual gratification, but 
only for the benefit of the women (w r ho, according to the Mormon 
doctrine, cannot get to heaven without some holy husband 
to introduce them), and for the raising up of a righteous seed 
to God's glory. 

Their favourite biblical argument, urged w T ith such a tone 
of triumph and self-satisfaction in all the southern presby- 
teries and consociations, and in some northern ones, being 
thus newly applied by the Mormons, our pro-slavery friends 
are placed in a somewhat delicate dilemma. For they must 
either abandon as invalid their dogma of slave-holding de- 
rived from Jewish practices, or, if they still hold on to the 
argument, and maintain its force, they must prepare to extend 



22 



AUTOGRAPHS FOE FREEDOM. 



the right hand of fellowship to Brigham Young and his five 
and forty wives. It is, indeed, very natural, in fact inevit- 
able, that slavery and polygamy, avowed or disavowed, 
should go together; nor does any good reason appear why 
those who find justification for the one in the Jewish Scrip" 
tures should hesitate about accepting the other. 



Believe ine still, as I have ever been, 

The steadfast lover of my fellow men ; 

My weakness, — love of holy Liberty ! 

My crime, — the wish that all mankind were free ! 

Free, not by blood ; redeemed, but not by crime ; 

Each fetter broken, but in God's good time! 




THE W" A Y . 




Amesbuuy, 10th mo. 16, 1852. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



23 



THE SLAVE AXD SL AYE- O \VNER . 

u I would rather be anything than a slave, — except a slave- 
owner !" said a wise and good man. The slave-owner inflicts 
wrongs, — the slave but suffers it. He has friends and cham- 
pions by thousands. Some men live only to defend and save 
him. Many are willing to fight for him. Some even to die 
for him. 

The most effective romance of our times has been written for 
slaves. The genius of more than one of our best poets has been 
consecrated to them. They divide the hearts and councils of 
our great nation. They are daily remembered in the prayers 
of the faithful. They are the most earnest topic of the Chris- 
tian world. 

But the slave-owner! who weeps, who prays, who lives, who 
dies for him ! True, he is of the boasted Saxon race, or de- 
scended from the brilliant Gaul, or gifted Celt. He is enriched 
by the transmitted civilisation of all ages. He has been nur- 
tured by Christian institutions. To him have been opened the 
fountains of Divine truth. But from this elevation he is to be 
dragged down by the mill-stone of slavery. 

If he be a rural landlord, he looks around upon his ancestral 
possessions, and sees the curse of slave-ownership upon them, — 
he knows the time must come when "the field shall yield no 
meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be 
no herd in the stall." To him the onward tendencies of the age 
are reversed. His movement is steadily backward. 

To the slave are held out the rewards of fortitude, of long 
suffering, of meekness, of patience in tribulation. What and 
where are the promises to the slave-owner ? 

Thousands among them are in a false position. They are the 
involuntary maintainers of wrong, and transmitters of evil. 
Hundreds among them have scrupulous consciences and tender 
feelings. They use power gently. They feed their servants 
bountifully. They nurse the sick kindly, — and devote weary 
days to their instruction. But alas! they live under the laws 
of slave-owners. They are forbidden to teach the slave to read 



24 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



write, or cipher, to give them the means of independent pro- 
gress and increasing light. Their teaching is as bootless as the 
labour of Sisyphus ! most wearisome and disheartening. 

The great eras of domestic life, bright to the thoughtless 
slave, are dark with forecasting shadows to the slave-owner. 
The mother cannot forget her sorrows, because a man-child is 
born. If she dare contemplate his future, she sees that the 
activities of his nature must be repressed, his faculties but half 
developed, his passions stimulated by irresponsible power, in- 
flamed by temptation, and solicited by convenient opportunity. 
She knows that his path in life must be more and more entan- 
gled as he goes onward — darker and darker with the ever- 
deepening misery of this cruel institution. 

Is it a " merry marriage-bell " that rings in the ear of a slave- 
owning mother for the bridal of her daughter ? Does not her 
soul recoil from the possible (probable ?) evils before her child ; 
to be placed, perchance, on an isolated plantation, environed by 
natural enemies ; to sec, it may be, the brothers and sisters of 
her own children follow their slave-mother to the field, or 
severed from her to be sold at the slave-market ? 

Compared with these miseries of the slave-owner, what are 
the toils and stripes of the slave ? what his labour without sti- 
mulus or requital ? what his degradation to a chattel ? what 
the deprivation of security to the ties of kindred, and the annul- 
ling of that relation which is their source and chiefest blessing ? 

The slave looks forward with ever-growing hope to the 
struggle that must come. He joyfully " smells the battle afar 
off." The slave-owner folds his arms, and shuts his eyes in 
paralysing despair. He hears the fearful threatenings of the 
gathering storm. He knows it must come, — to him fatally. I 
is only a question of time ! 

Who would not " rather be a slave than a slave-owner ? " 



AUTOGHAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



25 



LETTER FROM THE BISHOP OP OXFORD* TO THE 



Madam, — I readily comply with your desire. England 
taught her descendants in America to injure their African 
brethren. Every Englishman should aid the American to get 
rid of this cleaving wrong and deep injury to his race and 
nation. — I am ever yours, 



" HIDE THE OUTCASTS." 

Hide the outcasts, and bewray not 

Him that wand'reth to be free ; 
Haste ! — deliver and delay not ; — 

Let my outcasts dwell with thee.f 

Shelter thou shalt not refuse him, 
Lest, with him, his Lord ye slight ; J 

When, at noon, the foe pursues him, 
Make thy shadow dark as night. 

With thee shall he dwell, protected, 
Near thee, cherished by thy side j 

* A son of that distinguished friend of humanity, Willi vm 

WlLBERFORCE. 

f " Take counsel, execute judgment ; make thy shadow as the night 
m the midst of the noon-day ; hide the outcasts ; bewray not him that 
wandereth. Let my outcasts dwell with thee, Moab ; be thou a covert 
to them, from the face of the spoiler.— Isaiah xvi. 3, 4. 

X " Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it 
not to me;" — Jesus Christ* Matt, xxv, 46\ 



SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY. 



Clddesdon Palace, July 7, 18o2. 




26 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Though degraded, scorned, neglected, — 
Thrust him not away, in pride. * 

As, in truth, ye would that others 

Unto you should succour lend, 
So, to them, as equal brothers, 

Equal love and help extend. f 

Thou shalt not the slave deliver 

To his master, when he flees : — 
Heritage, from God, the Giver, 

Yield them freely, where they please. J 

As thyself, || —thy babes, — their mother, — 
Thou wouldst shield from murd'rous arm, 

So the slave, thy equal brother, 
And his household, shield from harm. 

Hearken, ye that know and fear me, § 
Ye who in my law delight ; 

* " Is it not that thou deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou 
bring the poor that are cast out to thy house ? when thou seest the 
naked that thou coyer him r and that thou hide not thyself from thine 
own flesh ?" 1 1 If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, 
the putting forth of the finger, and speaking of vanity," &c. — Isaiah 
lviii. 6—9. 

t " Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do 
to vou, do ye even so to them ; for this is the law and the prophets." — 
Jesus Christ. Matt. vii. 12. 

J " Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is 
escaped from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee ; even 
among you in that place which he shall choose, in one of thy gates, 
where it liketh him best ; thou shalt not oppress him."— Deut. xxiii. 
15, 16. 

|| " Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."— Lev. xix. 18 ; Matt, 
xix. 19. 

§ " Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness ; the people in 
whose heart is my law : fear yet not the reproach of men, neither be 
yc afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a 
garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool ; but my righteous- 
ness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation." 
—Isaiah li. 7, 8. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR. FREEDOM. 



27 



Ye that seek me, and revere me, 
Hate the wrong and love the right. * 

Fear ye not, when men upbraid yon, 
Worms shall all their strength devour; 

My salvation still shall aid you, 
Coming ages learn my power. 

Why forget the Lord thy Maker ? 

Why th' oppressor's fury dread? 
Zion's King shall ne'er forsake her; — 

Where's th' oppressor's fury fled ? f 

Scorn the mandates of transgressors ; J 
Fear thy God, and fear none other; 

'Gainst thyself conspire oppressors, 
When they bid thee bind thy brother. 

Lo ! the captive exile hasteth 
To be loosed from thrall, forever ; § 

Lo ! the power of tyrants wasteth, 
Perish soon, — recovered, never ! 




* " Ye that love the Lord, hate evil."— Ps. xevii. 10. " The fear 
of the Lord is to hate evil."— Prov. viii. 13. 

f " Who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man ? * * * And 
forgettest the Lord thy Maker, * * * and has feared continually every 
day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to 
destroy ? And where is the fury of the oppressor ?"— Isa. li. 12, 13, 14. 

% " We ought to obey God rather than men." — Acts v. 29. 

§ " The captive exile hasteth that he maybe loosed," &c— Isa. li. 15. 



28 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



CAN SLAVES RIGHTFULLY RESIST AND FIGHT ? 

I DO not answer this question. But the following facts are 
submitted as containing the materials for an answer. 

About seventy years ago, three millions of people in America 
thought themselves wronged by the powers ordained of God. 
They resolved not to endure the wrong. They published to 
the world a statement of grievances which justified resistance 
to the powers ordained of God, and deliberately revolted against 
the king, though explicitly commanded by God to " honour the 
king." In the process of revolt, about one hundred thousand 
men, Europeans and Americans, — were slaughtered in battle, 
or slowly butchered by the sickness, imprisonments, and hard- 
ships incident to a state of war. 

It was distinctly maintained in 1776, that men may rightfully 
fight for liberty, and resist the powers ordained of God, if those 
powers destroyed liberty. Christian men, ministers in their 
pulpits, strenuously argued that it was men's duty to fight for 
liberty, and to kill those who opposed them. Prayer was offered 
to God for success in this process of resistance and blood : and 
good men implored and obtained help from other nations, to 
complete the work of resistance to oppression, and death to the 
oppressors. 

I do not say that these positions were right, or that the men 
of 1776 acted right. But I do say, that [/'they were right, we 
are necessarily led to some startling conclusions. For there 
are now three millions of people of America grievously wronged 
by the government they live under. If it was right in 1776 
to resist, fight, and kill, to secure liberty, — it is right to do the 
same in 1852. If three millions of whites might rightfully 
resist the powers ordained of God. then three millions of blacks 
may rightfully do the same. If France was justified in aiding 
our band of revolutionists to fight for liberty, then a foreign 
nation may lawfully aid men now to vindicate their rights. 
If as the men of 1776 declared, " when a long train of abuses 
evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is 
their right, it is their duty, to throw 7 off such government,"— 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



29 



then it is the duty of three millions of men in 1852 to throw 
off the government which reduces them to the frightful and 
absolute despotism of chattel slavery. 

But what were the oppressions, which, in 1776, justified 
revolt, battle, and one hundred thousand deaths? They are 
stated in the " Declaration of Independence," are familiar to 
all, and will therefore only be abridged here. The powers 
ordained of God over the men of 1776, — " restrained their 
trade," — a refused assent to laws enacted by the local legisla- 
ture,"—" kept soldiers to overawe them," — " did not punish 
soldiers for killing a few colonists," — " imposed taxes without 
their consent," — " in some cases, did not allow them trial by 
jury," — " abolished good laws," — " made war on them in case 
of disobedience." 

These were the wrongs they complained of. But nearly all 
their rights were untouched. They had schools and colleges, 
and could educate their children ; they could become intelligent 
and learned themselves ; they could acquire property, and large 
numbers of them had become rich ; they could emigrate with- 
out hindrance to any other country, when weary of the oppres- 
sions of their own ; they could elect their own town and state 
officers ; they could keep swords, muskets, powder and ball in 
their own houses; they could not be lashed and sold like 
brutes ; they were never compelled to work without wages ; 
they could appeal to courts of justice for protection. 

Let us now hear a statement of the wrongs inflicted on three 
millions of Americans in 1852. 

"We have no rights left to us. 

Laws forbid us to be taught even to read, and severe penalties 
are inflicted on those who teach us. 

The natural right of the parent over the child is wholly 
taken away ; our children are systematically kept in profound 
ignorance, and are worked or sold like brutes, at the will of 
slave-holders. 

We can acquire no property, and are kept in utter and per- 
petual pauperism, dependent on the mere caprice or selfishness 
of other men for subsistence. 

If we attempt peaceably to emigrate from this land of 



30 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



oppression, we are hunted by bull-dogs, or shot down like 
beasts,— dragged back to perpetual slavery without trial by 
jury. 

"We are exposed to the most degrading and revolting punish- 
ments, without judge or trial, at the passion, caprice, or cruelty 
of the basest overseers. 

V* hen our wives and daughters are seduced or ravished, we 
are forbidden to appeal to the courts of justice. 

"Whatever outrage may be perpetrated on ourselves or our 
families, we have no redress. 

We are compelled to work without wages ; the fruits of our 
labour are systematically extorted from us. 

Many thousands of our people are annually collected by 
slave-traders, and sold to distant States ; by which means 
families are broken up, and the most frigitful debasement, 
anguish, and outrage is inflicted on us. 

"We have no access to courts of justice, no voice in the election 
of rulers, no agency in making the laws, — not even the misera- 
ble remnant of liberty, in choosing the despot who may have 
absolute power over us. 

We are hopelessly consigned to that condition most re- 
volting and loathsome to one in whom the least vestige of 
manly or womanly feeling is left, — that of absolute slavery. 

The laws treat us not as human beings, but " as chattels 
personal, to all intents, constructions, and purposes what- 
soever." 

Great numbers of our people, in addition to all these enor- 
mities, endure unutterable bodily sufferings, from the cruelty 
and torturing punishments inflicted on us. 

I do not assert that three millions of people, suffering such 
intolerable wrongs and outrages, ought to throttle their op- 
pressors, and kill fifty thousand of them. I only say, that if 
it was right to do so in 1776, it is also right to do the same 
in 1852. If the light oppressions which the men of the last 
century endured justified war and bloodshed, then oppressions 
ten thousand times worse would surely justify revolt and 
blood. If the colonists might rightfully refuse to " remain 
in the calling wherein they were called," as subjects of the 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



31 



English government, then slaves may rightfully refuse to 
continue in the calling wherein they were called. If three 
millions of men might lawfully disregard the text, " honour 
the king," on the ground that the king oppressed them, then 
three millions of men may lawfully disregard the text, " ser- 
vants obey your masters," on the ground that those masters 
grievously oppress them. If the prospect of success justified 
the war of 1776, then as soon as three millions of slaves feel 
able and determined to vindicate their rights, they may justly 
demand them at the point of the sword ; and any black Wash- 
ington who shall lead his countrymen to victory and liberty, 
even through carnage, will merit our veneration. If " liberty 
or death" was a noble and Christian war-cry in 1776 for the 
oppressed, then it would be noble and Christian-like for the 
oppressed men of 1852 practically to adopt the same. 

If these inferences appear startling and even horrible, why 
do they so appear ? Is there any reason except that invete- 
rate prejudice, which applies very different principles to the 
coloured man and the white man ? If three millions of white 
men were in slavery in Algiers now, should we not urge 
them, as soon as there was hope of success, to imitate the 
men of 1776, rise and fight for liberty ? Therefore, until we 
are prepared to condemn our ancestors as guilty rebels, and 
abhor their insurrection as a wicked resistance to the ordi- 
nance of God, can we blame any class of people for successful 
revolt against an oppressive government? 

Let this further question be pondered. Who were to blame 
for the destruction of one hundred thousand lives in the war 
of 1776? The oppressors or the oppressed? The men who 
fought for liberty or the men who would not let them have 
it without fighting ? Who then would be responsible for the 
death of one hundred thousand men, if the oppressed men 
of 1852 should kill so many, in fighting for liberty ? 

If the reader is shocked by such inquiries and inferences, 
and as directly and intentionally designed to encourage servile 
insurrection and civil war, he may be assured that my aim is 
entirely different. It is my wish to secure timely precautions 
against danger. For we are to remember, that our slave and 



o2 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



coloured population is advancing with the same gigantic rate 
of increase characteristic of our country. In twenty-five years, 
we shall have six millions of slaves: in fifty years, twelve 
millions; in seventy-five years, twenty-four millions. Can 
any one dream of the possibility of retaining twenty-four 
millions, or twelve millions, of human beings in slavery ? 
Long before that number is reached, will not vast multitudes 
of them learn the simple lessons of liberty and right, which 
our books, orations, and politicians inculcate day by day ? 
Will there not arise among them men of courage, genius, 
enthusiasm, who will, at all hazards, lead them cn to that 
glorious liberty which we have taught them is cheaply 
purchased at any peril, or war, or bloodshed ? When that 
day comes, as sure it must, will there not be horrors such as 
civil war has never yet produced ? Is it not wise, then, to 
b?gin measures for averting so fearful a catastrophe ? Is it 
not madness to slumber over such a frightful future ? Should 
not the talent and energies of the country be directed to the 
momentous inquiry, How can slavery note be peacefully and 
rightfully removed ? Does not every attempt to hush agita- 
tion, and insist on the finality of anti-slavery measures, make 
more sure the awful fact that slavery is to work out its own 
emancipation in fighting and blood ? 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



DEATH IN LIFE. 

SUPPOSED INSCRIPTION UPON THE SEPULCHRE OE A NEGRO SLAVE, 
WHO, FOR SOME IMAGINED CRIME, HAD BEEN IMMURED HALE 
A CENTURY IN A DUNGEON. 

Ope, jealous portal ! ope thy cavern womb, 
Thy pris'ner will not flee its close embrace ; 

He lived and moved too long within a tomb, 
Beyond its narrow bounds to dream of space. 

To eat his crust and muse, unvarying lot ! 

Thus, like his beard, his life slow length'ning grew ; 
So long shut out, the world the wretch forgot, 

His cell his universe, — 'twas all he knew. 

For Memory soon with loving pinions wheeled 
In circles narrowing each successive flight ; 

Her sickly wings at length enfeebled yield, 

Too weak to scale the walls that bound his sight. 

But Hope sat with him once, and cheered his day ; 

And raised his limbs, and kept his lamp alight ; 
Scared by his groans, at length she fled away ; 

And left him lone, — to spend one endless night. 

What change to him, then, is the vault below, 
From that where late the captive was confined ? 

But this, — a worm here eats his body now ; 
Whilst there it gnawed his slow decaying mind. 

London, 1852. 



C 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



TRUE REFORM. 

I hate received your appeal, my friends, and am not sorry 
to find myself remembered by you. Every moment of the 
ages is pregnant with the fate of humanity, but we are inclined 
to imagine that in which we live to have a peculiar signifi- 
cance. At this hour, it seems to us as if the great balance of 
justice swayed to and fro, in most-disheartening uncertainty ; 
but this moment, like all others, lies in the* hollow of God's 
hand, and his infinite love will not fail to justify to men and 
angels its terrible discipline. 

I have departed on this occasion from the plan of action 
once laid down to myself. I have not presented you in these 
pages with the revolting facts of slavery ; for to deal with the 
subject at this moment in a fitting manner, demands a pru- 
dence and tact not likely to be possessed by one absent from the 
scene of action, and ignorant of the passing moment. I wish to 
convey to you the assurance of my deep sympathy in all Christ- 
like opposition to sin ; my deep sorrow for every loss of manly 
self-control, and failure of faith in God, among reformers; my 
conviction that the Constitution of the United States, in so far 
as it is not in harmony with the law of God, can be no sure 
foundation for the law of man ; that until it gives place to a 
higher ground of union, or until the nation consent to give it 
a higher interpretation, it will depress the national industry, 
corrupt the national moral?, and palsy the national strength. 
It is my firm faith, that man owes his first allegiance to God, 
and that it is the duty of every citizen who disobeys the law 
of a land, to bear its penalties with a patience and firmness 
which shall show him adequate to the hour, and neither un- 
willing nor unfit to complete the sacrifice he has begun. Above 
all, O my friends ! I pray that God may fill the hearts of the 
reformers in this cause with the deepest devotion to his abso- 
lute truth, the truest perception of the humility of Christ ; that 
He may show them how, as its exigencies press, they must not 
only be men full of anti-slavery zeal, but filled with Divine 
prudence, sincere desirers of that peace which is founded on 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



35 



purity, — possessors of that temperance which is its own best 
pledge. In the consciousness of the martyrdom of the affec- 
tions, which his position involves, the reformer feels oftentimes 
secure of his eternal compensation. But I have wondered, of 
late, whether martyrdom may not be as dangerous to his spi- 
ritual life as worldly renown, or pecuniary prosperity. 

Stretched upon the rack, I may still be puffed up with pride, 
or an unhealthy spirit of self-dependence ; and sacrificing my 
last copper on the altar of a great truth, I may still refuse to 
offer there my personal vanity, my wilful self-esteem, or my 
bitterness of temper. 

Let us be willing, O my friends ! to lay these also at the 
feet of Christ. 




Toronto, Canada, July 22, 1852. 



HOW LONG r 

How long, O gracious God ! how long, 

Shall power lord it over right ? 
The feeble, trampled by the strong, 

Remain in slavery's gloomy night ? 
In every region of the earth, 

Oppression rules with iron power ; 
And every man of sterling worth, 

Whose soul disdains to cringe or cower 
Beneath a haughty tyrant's nod, 
And, supplicating, kiss the rod 
That, wielded by oppression s might, 
Smites to the earth his dearest right, — 
The right to speak, and think, and feel, 
And spread his uttered thoughts abroad, 

c2 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



To labour for the common weal, 

Responsible to none but God, — 
Is threatened with the dungeon's gloom, 
The felon's cell, the traitors doom, 
And treacherous politicians league 

With hireling priests, to crush and ban 
All who expose their vile intrigue, 

And vindicate the rights of man. 
How long shall Afric' raise to thee 

Her fettered hand, O Lord! in vain, 
And plead in fearful agony 

For vengeance for her children slain? 
I see the Gambia's swelling flood, 

And Niger's darkly rolling wave, 
Bear on their bosoms, stained with blood, 

The bound and lacerated slave : 
While numerous tribes spread near and far, 
Fierce, devastating, barbarous war, 
Earth's fairest scenes in ruin laid, 
To furnish victims for that trade, 
Which breeds on earth such deeds of shame, 
As fiends might blush to hear or name. 
I see where Danube's waters roll, 

And where the Magyar vainly strove, 
With valiant arm and faithful soul, 

In battle for the land he loved, — 
A perjured tyrant's legions tread 
The ground where Freedom's heroes bled, 
And still the voice of those who feel 
Their country's wrongs, with Austrian steel. 
I see the (i Rugged Russian Bear," 
Lead forth his slavish hordes, to war 
Upon the right of every State 
Its own affairs to regulate ; 
To help each despot bind the chain 
Upon the people's rights again, 
And crush beneath his ponderous paw 
All constitutions., rights, and law. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



I see in France, — O burning shame ! — 
The shadow of a mighty name, 
Wielding the power her patriot bands 
Had boldly wrenched from kingly hands, 
With more despotic pride of sway 
Than ever monarch dared display. 
The fisher too whose world-wide nets 

Are spread to snare the souls of men, 
By foreign tyrants' bayonets 

Established on his throne again, 
Blesses the swords still reeking red 

With the best blood his country bore, 
And prays for blessings on the head 

Of him who wades through Roman gore. 
The same unholy sacrifice 
Where'ere I turn bursts on mine eyes, 
Of princely pomp, and priestly pride, 

The people trampled in the dust, 
Their dearest, holiest rights denied, 

Their hopes destroyed, their spirit crushed 
But when I turn the land to view, 

Which claims, par excellence, to be 
The refuge of the brave and true, 

The strongest bulwark of the free, 
The grand asylum for the poor 

And trodden down of every land, 
Where they may rest in peace, secure, 

Nor fear the oppressor's iron hand, — 
Worse scenes of rapine, lust, and shame, 
Than e'er disgraced the Russian name, 
Worse than the Austrian ever saw, 
Are sanctioned here as righteous law. 
Here might the Austrian butcher* make 

Progress in shameful cruelty, 
Where women-whippers proudly take 

The meed and praise of chivalry. 



* Haynau, 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Here might the cunning Jesuit learn, 

Though skilled in subtle sophistry, 
And trained to persevere in stern 

Uusympathising cruelty, 
And call that good, which, right or wrong, 
Will tend to make his order strong: : 
He here might learn from those who stand 

High in the gospel ministry, 
The very magnates of the land 

In evangelic piety, 
That conscience must not only bend 

To everything the church decrees, 
But it must also condescend, 

When drunken politicians please 
To place their own inhuman acts 

Above the " higher law " of God, 
And on the hunted victim's tracks 

Cheer the malignant fiends of blood, 
To help the man-thief bind the chain 

Upon his Christian brother's limb, 
And bear to slavery's hell again 

The bound and suffering child of Him 
Who died upon the cross, to save 
Alike, the master and the slave. 
While all the oppressed from every land 
Are welcomed here with open hand, 
And fulsome praises rend the heaven 
Por those who have the fetters riven 
Of European tyranny, 
And bravely struck for liberty ; 
And while from thirty thousand fanes 

Mock prayers go up, and hymns are sung, 
Three million drag their clanking chains, 

" Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung 
Doomed to a state of slavery, 

Compared with which the darkest night 
Of European tyranny, 

Seems brilliant as the noonday light. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



While politicians void of shame, 

Cry this is law and liberty, 
The clergy lend the awful name 

And sanction of the Deity, 
To help sustain the monstrous wrong, 
And crush the weak beneath the strong. 
Lord, thou hast said the tyrant's ear 

Shall not be always closed to thee, 
But that thou wilt in wrath appear, 

And set the trembling captive free. 
And even now dark omens rise 

To those who either see or hear, 
And gather o'er the darkening skies 

The threatening signs of fate and fear ; 
Not like the plagues which Egypt saw, 

When rising in an evil hour, 
A rebel 'gainst the " higher law," 

And glorying in her mighty power, — ■ 
Saw blasting fire, and blighting hail, 
Sweep o'er her rich and fertile vale, 
And heard on every rising gale 
Ascend the bitter mourning wail ; 
And blighted herd, and blasted plain, 
Through all the land the first-born slain, 
Her priests and magi made to cower 
In witness of a higher power, 
And darkness like a sable pall 

Shrouding the land in deepest gloom, 
Sent sadly through the minds of all, 

Forebodings of approaching doom. 
What though no real shower of fire 

Spreads o'er this land its withering blight, 
Denouncing wide Jehovah's ire 

Like that which palsied Egypt's might ; 
And though no literal darkness spreads 

Upon the land its sable gloom, 
And seems to fling around our heads 

The awful terrors of the tomb ; 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Yet to the eye of liim who reads 

The fate of nations past and gone, 
And marks with care the wrongful deeds 

By which their power was overthrown, — 
Worse plagues than Egypt ever felt 

Are seen wide-spreading through the land, 
Announcing that the heinous guilt 

On which the nation proudly stands, 
Has risen to Jehovah's throne, 

And kindled his Almighty ire, 
And broadcast through the land has sown 

The seeds of a devouring fire; 
Blasting with foul pestiferous breath, 

The fountain springs of moral life, 
And planting deep the seeds of death, 

And future germs of deadly strife ; 
And moral darkness spreads its gloom 

Over the land in every part, 
And buries in a living tomb 

Each generous prompting of the heart. 
Vice in its darkest, deadliest stains, 

Here walks with brazen front abroad, 
And foul corruption proudly reigns 

Triumphant in the Church of God, 
And sinks so low the Christian name, 
In foul degrading vice and shame, 
That Moslem, Heathen, Atheist, Jew, 

And men of every faith and creed, 
To their professions far more true, 

More liberal both in word and deed, 
May well reject with loathing scorn 

The doctrines taught by those who sell 
Their brethren in the Saviour born, 

Down into slavery's hateful hell ; 
And with the price of Christian blocd 
Build temples to the Christian's God, 
And offer up as sacrifice, 

And incense to the God of heaven, 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



The mourning wail, and bitter cries. 

Of mothers from their children riven ; 
Of virgin purity profaned 

To sate some brutal ruffian's lust, 
Millions of godlike minds ordained 

To grovel ever in the dust, 
Shut out by Christian power and might 
From every ray of Christian light. 
How long, O Lord ! shall such vile deeds 

Be acted in thy holy name, 
And senseless bigots o'er their creeds 
Fill the whole world with war and flame ? 
How long shall ruthless tyrants claim 

Thy sanction to their bloody laws, 
And throw the mantle of thy name 

Around their foul, unhallowed cause ? 
How long shall all the people bow 

As vassals of the favoured few, 
And shame the pride of manhood's brow, — 

Give what to God alone is due, 
Homage, to wealth, and rank, and power, 
Vain shadows of a passing hour ? 
Oh for a pen of living fire, 

A tongue of flame, an arm of steel ! 
To rouse the people's slumbering ire, 

And teach the tyrants' hearts to feel. 
O Lord! in vengeance now appear, 

And guide the battles for the right, 
The spirits of the fainting cheer, 

And nerve the patriot's arm with might ; 
Till slavery, banished from the world, 
And tyrants from their power hurled, 
And all mankind from boudage free, 
Exult in glorious liberty ! 




42 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



LETTER FROM MR. WILSON ARMISTEAD TO THE 
SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY. 

Leeds, 7th Mo. 22, 1852. 

My dear Friend, — In responding to thy welcome com- 
munication, I may say that I rejoice in the cause of the inter- 
ruption of our correspondence, so far as it concerns thyself; 
thy time and talents being so increasingly occupied, in union 
with other of humanity's advocates, in assisting to overturn the 
monster iniquity of our age, that crowning crime of Christen- 
dom, — negro slavery ! 

Go on in this good work ! and may God's blessing abun- 
dantly attend, till the eternal overthrow be effected of a system 
so fraught with every evil, so abhorrent to the rights of 
nature, and so contrary to the spirit of the Gospel j — till the 
galling chain be broken off the necks of America's three million 
slaves ; till its victims be raised from the profoundest depths of 
ignorance and woe, to which they are now degraded. 

'Tis a marvel to me, that a system like that of negro slavery, 
which admits of such atrocities, can be tolerated for a single 
hour ! Ought not every one who has a spark of humanity, to 
say nothing of Christianity, in his bosom. — ought not all the 
sound part of every community in which slavery exists, to 
rise up en ??iasse, and declare that this abomination shall exist 
no longer ? 

Who gave to any man the right to enslave his fellow-man ? 
Can any enactment of human legislators so far sanction rob- 
bery, as lawfully to make one man the property of another ? 
Has God poured the tide of life through the African's breast, and 
animated it with a portion of his own Divine spirit, and at the 
same time deprived him of all natural affections, that he alone 
is to be struck off the list of rational beings, and placed on a 
level with the brute ? Is his flesh marble, and his sinews iron, 
or his immortal spirit of a class condemned, without hope, to 
penal suffering, that he is called upon to endure incessant toil, 
and to be subjected to degradation, bodily and mental, such as 
no other portion of the family of Adam have ever been destined 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



43 



to endure, without the vengeance of Heaven being signally 
displayed upon the oppressors ? Does the African mother feel 
less love to her offspring than the white woman? or the 
African husband regard with less tenderness the wife of his 
bosom? Is his heart dead to the ties of kindred, — his nature 
so brutalized, that the sacred associations of home and country 
awaken no emotions in his breast ? 

History unanswerably demonstrates that the negro does feel, 
keenly feel, the wrongs inflicted upon him by his unrighteous 
enslavers, and that his mind, barren as it has been rendered by 
hard usage, and desolated with misery, is not unwatered by 
the pure and gentle streams of natural affection. Yet the 
lordly oppressors remain unmoved by the sad condition of the 
negro, contemplate with indifference his bodily and mental 
sufferings, and still dare to postpone to an indefinite period the 
termination of his oppression and of their own guilt. 

But thanks be to God ! there is some counteracting influence 
to this feeling, and that it is on the advance. The night has 
been long and dark, — already the horizon brightens ; the day 
of freedom dawns. 

Go on, then, my friend ; I say, go on ! in the good cause 
thou hast espoused. Labour, and faint not. " Whatsoever thy 
hand fmdeth to do, do it with all thy might." My kind 
regards to Frederick Douglass ; may he, and all others also, be 
strengthened and encouraged to labour in the great work of 
human freedom ; that so, by gradual increase, like the mighty 
surge, they may become strong enough to overpower and 
drown the oppressor, and be enabled to devise and execute 
measures of mercy and justice, which may avert the judgments 
of the Almighty from their guilty land. For surely some 
signal display of Divine displeasure must await America 
unless she repent, and undo the heavy burdens of her three 

MILLION SLAVES. 

Are not the signs of the times calculated to remind us for- 
cibly of this language of Isaiah, " Behold, the Lord cometh out 
of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their 
iniquity : the earth also shall disclose her blood, and no more 
cover her slain. w Do we not hear already— 



44 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



" the wheels of an avenging God, 

Groan heavily along the distant road ? " 

Assuredly, he comes to judge the earth. " Who shall abide the 
day of his coming ; who shall stand when he appeareth ? " 

Thy Friend, very truly, 




IMPROMPTU STANZAS, 

SUGGESTED BY THE WORKING OF THE FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT, AS 
ILLUSTRATED tS THE CASE OF KEV. DOCTOR PENNINGTON. 

BY THE WORKSHOP BARD. 

Bring out the handcuffs, clank the rusted gyves : 

Rain down your curses on the doomed race ; 
Hang out a terror that shall haunt their lives, 

In every place. 

Unloose the blood-hounds from oppression's den ; 

Arm every brigand in the name of law, 
And triple shield of pulpit, press and pen, 

Around them draw. 

Ho ! politicians, orators, divines ! 

Ho ! cotton-mongers of the North and South ! 
Strike now for slavery, or our Union's shrines 

Are gone forsooth ! 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 

Down from their glory into chaos hurled, 

Your thirty States in shivered fragments go, 
Like the seared leaves by autumn tempests whirled 

To depths below. 

Closed be each ear, let every tongue be dumb ; 

Nor one sad pitying tear o'er man be shed, 
Though fainting at your threshold he should come, 

And ask for bread. 

Though woman, fleeing from the cruel grip 

Of foul oppression, scarred and stained with blood, 
Where from the severed veins the driver's whip 

Hath drank its flood. 

Though helpless childhood ask — pitying Heaven ! — 

The merest crumb which falls upon the floor, 
Tho' faint and famished, bread must not be given, 

Bolt fast the door. 
And must it be, thou just and holy God ! 

That in our midst thy peeled and stricken poor 
Shall kneel and plead amid their tears and blood, 

For evermore ? 

Shall those whom thou hast sent baptised from heaven, 

To preach the Gospel the wide world around, 
To teach the erring they may be forgiven, 

Be seized and bound ? 

Placed on the auction-block, with chattels sold, 

Driven like beasts of burden day by day, 
The flock be scattered from the shepherd's fold, 

The spoiler's prey ? 

How long — thy people cry — O Lord, how long ! 

Shall not thine arm " shake down the bolted fire !*' 
Can deeds like these of God-defying wrongs, 

Escape His ire ? 
Must judgments, — such as swept with fearful tread 

O'er Egypt when she made thy people slaves, 
Where thy hand strewed with their unburied dead 

The Red Sea waves ? 



46 



AUTOGRAPHS TOR FREEDOM. 



Must fire and hail from heaven upon us fail, 

Our first-born perish 'neath the Avenger's brand, 
And sevenfold darkness, like a funeral pall 

O'erspread the ' d ? 

We kneel before thy footstool, gracious God, 
Spare thou our nation, in thy mercy spare ; 
We perish quickly 'neath thy lifted rod 

And arm made bare. 

West Troy, March, 1851. 



JOHN MURRAY (OF GLASGOW). 

About a year ago, the newspapers announced the death of Mr. 
John Murray, for many years the secretary of the Glasgow- 
Em ancipation Society, and I would do violence to truth and 
humanity whose servant and soldier he was, should I neglect 
to pen a few recollections of that most earnest and efficient 
man. 

He was related to the ancient and honourable family of the 
Oswalds of Sheildhall, and received that excellent educational 
and religious training which is given to the children of the 
middle and higher classes in Scotland. At the age of twenty- 
two or three, in consequence of an attack of pulmonary hemor- 
rhage, he sailed for the West Indies and found employment at 
his trade, house-building, in St. Kitts. Very soon, however, he 
found other matters to engage, and almost engross his atten- 
tion and labours; in conjunction with an uncle of George Ste- 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



47 



plien of London, and a Dr. Hamilton, resident in St. Kitts, he 
did manly and successful fight in behalf of the wronged and 
bleeding slave. 

Afte-- -2 :esidence in that island of some years, during which 
he obtained a thorough knowledge of the workings of slavery, 
he return d to Glasgow, poor in pocket, but rich in abolitionism. 
Soon after his return, he was united in marriage to Miss Anna 

, a lady whose perfect harmony in sentiment, softened by 

feminine delicacy, made a happy anti-slavery home for the 
zealous and ardent abolitionism of John Murray. It was a 
union of hearts attached in early youth, and which had remained 
" leal " during a long separation. 

Shortly after marriage, he commenced business as a spirit- 
dealer, then and now a most reputable calling in the opinion 
of the good citizens of Glasgow. Temperate himself, his call- 
ing gradually became unpleasant to him. At first he refused 
to sell spirits to any person partly inebriated ; then he reasoned 
himself into a total abandonment of the death-dealing traffic. 
With no other business prospect before him, prevented by his 
long difficulty from working at his trade, with a young wife 
and child dependent on him, he suddenly locked up his spirit- 
cellar and never more sold rum ! 

In 182S or 1829, through the influence of his kinsman, James 
Oswald, Esq., of Sheildhall, Mr. Murray was appointed surveyor 
on a part of the Forth and Clyde canal, an office requiring 
much labour for little pay. His prospects of promotion de- 
pended on Mr. Oswald and other members of the Kirk of 
Scotland. Mr. Murray was a full member of the Tron Church, 
Glasgow, when, according to law, a minister was appointed 
there regardless of the choice, and contrary to the wishes of 
the great majority of its members. In consequence of this 
appointment, and again unmindful of personal advancement, 
John Murray shook the dust from his sandals and quit at once 
and for ever the Tron Church and the Kirk of Scotland. 

About the same time the Glasgow Emancipation Society 
was formed or re-organised, on the doctrine of immediate eman- 
cipation so splendidly announced by a secession minister of 
Edinburgh. The secretaries of this association were John 



48 



At'TOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Murray the surveyor, and William Srnead, of the Gallowgate, 
grocer ; the last a Friend. These two were the head and 
front, the thinking and the locomotive power of this well- 
known association which did notable fight, if not the principal 
labour, in effecting emancipation in the British West Indies, 
and in assaulting American slavery. 

And, twenty odd years ago, it was no trifling matter to 
do anti-slavery work in Glasgow, the very names of whose 
stateliest streets proclaimed that they were built by money 
wrung out of the blood and sweat of the negroes of Jamaica* 
St. Vincent, &c. The whole of the retired wealth, nearly all 
the active business influence, the weight of the Established 
Church, the rank and fashion of Glasgow, and though last not 
least, the keen wit of the poet Motherwell, * and the great 
statistical learning and industry of M'Queen were arrayed on 
the side of the slave-holder. Sugar and cotton and rum were 
lords of the ascendant ! Yet the poor surveyor and the humble 
grocer fought on ; nor did they fight alone ; the silvery voice 
and keen acumen of Ralph Wardlow, the earnest and powerful 
Hugh Heugh, the inexorable logic and burning sarcasm of 
swarthy Wully Anderson, and the princely munificence of 
James Johnston, combined to awaken the people to the enor- 
mity of slavery. And the Voluntary Church movement, and 
the fight for the Reform Bill aroused a varied eloquence in the 
orators who pleaded for. and a kindling enthusiasm in the people 
who were struggling on the liberal side of all these questions ; 
for the people, battling for their own rights, had heart room to 
hear the prayer for the rights of others more deeply oppressed. 
Thus ever will liberty be expansive and expanding in the 
direction of human brotherhood. 

Then Knibb came along with his fiery eloquence, which 
swept over and warmed the hearts of the people with indigna- 
tion at the dishonour done religion in the martyrdom of the 
missionary Smith; and then the grand scene in the British 

* Editor of the Glasgow Courier. Poor Motherwell ! I have it 
from a mutual friend that he sympathised with the cause of Freedom, 
while paid to write against it. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



40 



emancipation drama, the overthrow of Bothwick by George 
Thompson, and the monster petitions and the reluctant assent 
of the ministry and the passage of the bill. 

Those were stirring times in Glasgow, and it did one's heart 
good to see John Murray in their midst. The arrangements 
for nearly all those movements originated with, and were car- 
ried out by him ,• he never made a speech of one minute long, 
yet he most effectively arranged all the speaking, drew up all 
resolutions and reports and addresses ; and most of the move- 
ments in England, the pressure upon the ministry, and the 
advocacy in Parliament were the result of his wide and labo- 
rious correspondence. He used more than one ream of paper 
for manuscripts upon the great cause which he seemed born to 
cany out successfully. In addition to his other correspondence, 
nearly every issue of two of the Glasgow tri-weekly papers 
contained able articles from his pen in reply to the elaborate 
defence of slavery carried on in the Glasgow Courier by Mr. 
M'Queen. And yet this man, doing this mighty work, was so 
entirely unobtrusive, so quiet in his labours, that few beyond 
the committee knew him other than the silent secretary of the 
Glasgow Emancipation Society. And I shall not soon forget 
the perfect consternation with which he heard a vote of thanks 
tendered him by resolution at an annual meeting of the society. 

In 1835 or 1836, Mr. Murray was promoted to the office of 
collector at Bowling Bay, for the company he had so long and 
faithfully served. And many an anti-slavery wayfarer can 
testify to the warm welcome and genial hospitality of the snug 
little stone building so beautifully packed on the Clyde 
entrance of the Forth and Clyde canal. A charming family, 
consisting of a devoted wife, two most promising boys, and a 
retiring, sweet tempered girl, made happy the declining years 
of this great friend of the slave, and earnest pioneer in many 
reforms. Freedom for Ireland, the Peace Question, Radical 
Reform, a Free Church, and Total Abstinence, were questions 
to all of which Mr. Murray devoted his pen and his purse. 
His soul received and advocated whatever looked towards 
human progress. 

In person, Mr. Murray was tall and gaunt, and would 

D 



60 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



strongly remind one of Henry Clay. About a mile from 
Bowling Bay, within the enclosure that surrounds the Relief 
Church, in a sweet quiet spot, the green turf now covers what 
remains of the once active frame of John Murray ; and as, with 
moistened cheek, I fling this pebble upon his cairn, I cannot 
help thinking how much more has been done for the cause of 
human progress by this faithful servant to his own convictions 
of the truth, than by the nation- wept sage of Ashland. 




New York, Sept. 25, 1852. 



POWER OF AMERICAN EXAMPLE. 

At the last anniversary of the American Home Missionary 
Society, Rev. John P. Gulliver made an eloquent address on 
the duty of bringing the American people under the full influ- 
ence of Christian principle, in an argument drawn from the 
bearings of our national example on the people of other lands. 
Christianity, he said, alone can make the nations free. We 
fully believe in this sentiment. In answer to the question, 
How is Christianity to effect this result ? — Mr. Gulliver's 
answer was: America is to be the agent. 

Other nations, he thought, might do much in working out 
this great result ; but the chief hopes of the friends of freedom, 
he suggested, are centered upon this country. The world 
needs an example ; and he pointed to what the example of 
this nation has already done, imperfect as it is. " It is doing, 
at this momen f , more to change the political condition of man 
than all the armies and navies, — than all the diplomacy and 
kingcraft of the world." If it be so, if as the speaker declared, 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



51 



" the battle of the world's freedom is to be fought on our own 
soil," it would be interesting to look at the obstacles in the 
way. The United States must present a very different example 
from that exhibited the last twenty-five years, and now exhi- 
bited, before this country will be the agent of Christianity in 
evangelising the world. Think of three millions of our coun- 
trymen in chains ! Think of the large numbers held by minis- 
ters of the Gospel and members of churches! Think of the 
countenance given to slave-holders by our ecclesiastical assem- 
blies, by Northern preachers, by Christian lawyers, merchants, 
and mechanics ! Think of the platforms, adopted by the two 
leading political parties of the country, composed partly of 
religious men! Think of the dumbness of those that minister 
at the altar, in view of the great national iniquity, and then 
consider the effects of such an examine upon other nations, Chris- 
tian and Heathen ! 

Dr. Hawes is stated to have said at the last annual meeting 
of the A. B. C. F. M., that Dr. John H. Rice said, in his hear- 
ing, more than twenty years ago : " I do not believe the Lord 
will suffer the existing type or character of the Christian world 
to be impressed on the heathen." We also heard the remark, 
and believe that Dr. Rice, in alluding to the state of religion 
in this country, said, "It was so far short of what Christianity 
required, that sanguine as many were that the United States 
was speedily to be the agent of the world's conversion, he did 
not believe, for one, that God would suffer the Christianity of 
this country, as it then was, to be impressed upon the heathen 
world." If the character of our religion was thus twenty years 
ago, what is it now ? As a religious people we have been 
boastful. We have acted as if we thought God could not con- 
vert the world without the instrumentality of this country. It 
is far more probable that the converted heathen will send 
missionaries to the United States to teach us the first rudiments 
of Christianity, than that this country, at the present low ebb 
of religion, will be the agent of converting heathen nations to 
God. 

Dr. Hawes believed " that if the piety of the church were 
corrected and raised to the standard of Paul, God would soon 

D2 



02 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



give to the Son the heathen for his inheritance." No doubt of 
it. Such piety would do away with chattel slavery, with caste, 
with slavery platforms, with ungodly rulers, with Indian oppres- 
sion, with divorcing Christianity from the ballot-box, with hea- 
thenism at home. Let us pray for such piety ; and that hundreds 
of such men as Rice and Hawes may lift up their voices like 
a trumpet, and put forth corresponding action, until the nation 
shall be regenerated and become fit to enlighten, and, through 
the grace of God, save a dying world. 



« THE GOSPEL AS A REMEDY FOR SLAVERY." 

In one of the leading Congregational papers, a writer, 
AY. C. J., has commenced a series of communications under the 
above heading. It is well to discuss the subject. The writer 
says, " There are, it is true, many among our three millions of 
slaves who are acquainted with the rudiments of religious 
truth, and are leading lives of sincere piety." Dr. Nelson, a 
native of a slave State, stated, as the result of experience for many 
3*ears, that he had never known more than three or four slaves 
who he had reason to believe were truly and intelligently pious, 
The Synod of South Carolina and Georgia published to the 
world, some years since, that the great mass of slaves were 
heathen, as much so as the heathen of any portion of the globe. 
What authority W. C. J. has for saying there are, among the 
three millions of American slaves, " many" who are " leading 
lives of sincere piety," I do not know. It is probably the mere 
conjecture of an ardent mind. He qualifies the expression by 
asking, " What is the type of the religion that too generally 
appears among the slaves ?" And then replies to his own 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



53 



question, "It is sickly and weak, like a plant growing in a 
cellar, or a cave ; a compound of sincere piety with much of 
superstition and fanaticism." What sort of piety is that ? 

A sagacious observer has remarked, that there never can be, 
in our day, intelligent piety where men are not possessed of 
property, especially where they are mere serfs or slaves. How 
many American slaves have the piety of " Uncle Tom," we are 
unable to say. Probably very few. And it must fill the heart 
of every one who loves the souls of men, with anguish to con- 
template the spiritual destitution of the slaves in this country ; 
kept in bondage by the religious and political apathy or acts of 
professing Christians, of different denominations, in their indi- 
vidual or associated capacity. But to the question : Is the 
Gospel a remedy for slavery ? We answer, unhesitatingly, not 
such a Gospel as is preached to them ; for w T hile it does very 
little to enlighten either slave or master, it enjoins upon the 
former passive obedience, and inculcates upon the latter the 
right and duty of holding their fellow-men in bondage. Nor 
have we much hesitation in avowing it as our belief, that the 
Gospel, as generally preached in the free States, is quite 
inadequate to put an end to slavery. It does not reach the 
conscience of the tens of thousands who are, in various ways, 
connected with slave-holding by relationship, business corres- 
pondence, or political or ecclesiastical ties. As proof of this, we 
need only contemplate the action of the Northern divisions of 
the political and religious national parties. Slavery is counte- 
nanced, strengthened, increased, and extended by their conni- 
vance or direct agency. The truthis, Christianity, as promulgated 
by the great mass of the preachers and professors at this day 
even in the free States, is not a remedy for slavery. It is a 
lamentable truth, one that might justly occasion in the heart 
of every true Christian the lamentation of the prophet Jeremiah : 
" Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of 
tears, that I might weep, day and night, for the slain of the 
daughters of my people !" And it is in view of this truth, that 
the friends of a pure and full Gospel have great encouragement 
to persevere in their work of faith and love. The missionaries 
connected with the American Missionary Association, at home 



54 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



and abroad, inculcate, fearlessly and persistently, a Gospel of 
freedom, and make no more apology or allowance for slave- 
holding than for any other sin or crime. Such missionaries 
should be sustained, their numbers augmented, and prayer 
ascend for them continually. 




LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY. 

Dear MADAM, — Your request to transmit my name, with a 
short article, for insertion in your contemplated publication, is 
before me. I have neither time nor words in which to express 
my unalterable abhorrence of slavery, with all the odious apolo- 
gies and blasphemous claims of divine sanction for it, that have 
been attempted. I regard all attempts, by legislation or 
otherwise, to give the abominable system "aid and comfort "as 
involving treason against the government of God, and as 
insulting the consciences and common sense of men. 

Yours truly, 




Oberlix, 24 Sept., 1852. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR, FREEDOM. 



55 



THE SLAVE'S PRAYER. 

The first effort of my early life in narrative writing, was in 
behalf of those who, in even darker days than these, were pre- 
eminently those who, on earth, " had no helper." 

From this tale is selected these few lines — a song introduced 
into the story — not because it has any poetic merit, but because 
to me and perhaps to others, it seems interesting from the above 
circumstance. 




SONG OF PRAISE, 

Though man neglects my sighing, 
And mocks the bitter tear, 

Yet does not God my crying 
With kindest pity hear ? 

And when with fierce heat panting 
His hand can be my shade, 

And when with weakness fainting 
Support my aching head. 

And when I felt my cares 
For those his love can save, 

Will he not hear the prayers 
Of the poor negro slave ? 

Yes, for the poor and needy 

He promises to save, 
And who is poor and needy 

Like the poor negro slave ? 



56 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



THE STRUGGLE. 

Ours is a noble cause ; nobler even than that of our fathers, 
inasmuch as it is more exalted to struggle for the freedom of 
others, than for our own. The love of right, which is the 
animating impulse of our movement, is higher even than the 
love of freedom. But right, freedom, and humanity, all concur 
in demanding the abolition of slavery. 




Boston Oct. 16, 1852. 



WORK AXD WAIT. 

My Friend, — I have found no moment till the present that I 
could devote to a compliance with your request, and I am now 
probably too late. However, let me hastily proffer a few sug- 
gestions to opponents of slavery, which I trust may not be 
found unprofitable. I would say, then : 

1. Do not choose to separate and isolate yourselves from the 
general movement of humanity, save as you may be constrained 
to oppose certain eddies of that movement. Had Wilberforce, 
Clarksox, and their associate pioneers in the cause of British 
abolition, seen fit to cut themselves loose from all pre-existing 
sects and parties, and for a special anti-slavery church and 
party, I think the triumph of their cause would have been still 
unattained. 

2. Do not refuse to do a little good because you would much 
prefer to do a greater which is now unattainable. The earth 
revolves in her vast orbit gradually; and he who has done 
whatever good he can, need not reproach himself for his 
inability to do more. 



AUTOGRArilS FOR FREEDOM* 



57 



3. Be foremost in every gcod work that the community 
around you icill appreciate, — not because they will appreciate 
it, but because their appreciation and sympathy will enable you 
to do good in other spheres, and do it more effectually. 

4. Be pre-eminent in your consideration and regard for the 
rights and wrongs of labour in your own circle, even the rudest 
and humblest. An abolitionist who hires his linen made up at 
the lowest market rate, and pays his wash-woman in propor- 
tion, will do little good to the anti-slavery or any other philan- 
thropic cause. The man of liberal culture and generous heart 
who unostentatiously tries to elevate the most depressed to his 
own level, is doing a good work against slavery, however un- 
consciously. 

5. Have faith, with a divine patience ; man is privileged to 
labour for a good cause, but the glory of its success must 
redound to his Maker. Next to a great defeat, the most fatal 
event for slavery would be a great triumph. Doubtless, the bolts 
are now forging in some celestial armoury destined to strike 
the shackles from the limbs of the bond-man, and, cleanse the 
land from the foulest and blackest iniquity ever organised and 
legalised in the Christian world. The shout of deliverance may 
come when it is least expected, — nay, the very means employed 
to render its coming impossible, will probably secure and hasten 
it. For that and every other needed reform, let the humane 
and hopeful strive, not despairing in the densest midnight, and 
realising that the darkest hour is often that preceding the dawn. 
Let them, squandering no opportunity, and sacrificing no 
principle, 

" Learn to labour, and to wait." 



58 



AUTOGRAPHS FOK FREEDOM. 



THE GREAT EMANCIPATION. 

Beautiful and happy will this world be, when slavery and 
every other form of oppression shall have ceased. But this 
change can be produced only by the religion of Jesus Christ. 
Reliance on any other power to overthrow slavery, or restore 
to order and happiness this sin-crazed and sin-ruined world - 
will be vain. 




Peterboro', Sept. 22, 1852. 



ODE 

Sung at the celebration of the First Anniversary of the kidnapping, 
at Boston, of Thomas Sims, a fugitive slave : — the kidnapping done 
under the forms of law, and by its officers, 12 June, 18-51. The deed 
celebrated at the Melodeon, Boston, 12 June, 18o2. 

BY REV. JOHN PIERPONT. 

Souls of the patriot dead, 
On Bunker's height who bled ! 

The pile, that staDds 
On your long-buried bones, — 
Those monumental stones, — 
Should not suppress the groans, 

This day demands. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



59 



For Freedom there ye stood ; 
There gave the earth your blood ; 

There found your graves ; 
That men of every clime, 
Faith, colour, tongue, and time, 
Might, through your death sublime, 

Never be slaves. 

Over your bed, so low, 
Heard ye not, long ago, 

A voice of power * 
Proclaim to earth and sea, 
That where ye sleep, should be 
A home for Liberty, 

Till Time's last hour? 

Hear ye the chains of slaves, 
Now clanking round your graves ? 

Hear ye the sound 
Of that same voice, that calls 
From out our Senate halls, f 
" Hunt down those fleeing thralls, 

With horse and hound !" 

That voice your sons hath swayed ! 
'Tis heard, and is obeyed ! 

This gloomy day 
Tells you of ermine stained, 
Of Justice' name profaned, 
Of a poor bondman, chained 

And borne away ! 

Over Virginia's Springs, 
Her eagles spread their wings, 
Her Blue Ridge towers : — 

* Daniel Webster's oration, at the laying the corner-stone of Bunker 
Hill Monument, 17 June, 1825. 

f Daniel Webster's speech in the Senate of the U. S., 7 March, 
1850. * 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



That voice,* — once heard with awe, — 
Now asks, — " \Yho ever saw, 
Up there, a higher law 
Than this of ours?"' 

Must we obey that voice ? 
"When God, or man's the choice, 

Must we postpone 
Him, who from Sinai spoke ? 
Must we wear slavery's yoke ? 
Bear of her lash the stroke, 

And prop her throne ? 

Lashed with her hounds, must we 
Run down the poor, who flee 

From Slavery's hell ? 
Great God ! when we do this, 
Exclude us from thy bliss ; 
At us let angels hiss, 

From heaven that fell ! 




Daniel Webster's speech at the Capron Springs, Virginia, 1851. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



61 



PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE WOMAN. 

BY ANNIE PARKER. 

The slaves at Oak Grove did not inouru for poor Elsie when 
slie died, said Aunt Phillis, continuing her narrative. She 
was never a favourite, and from the time her beauty attracted the 
notice of the young master, and he began to pet her, she grew 
prouder and prouder, and treated the other slaves as if she were 
their mistress, rather than their equal. They hated her for her 
influence over the master, and she knew it, and that made 
matters worse between them. 

When she died in giving birth to her second child, her little 
boy and I were the only ones who felt any sorrow. The master 
had grown tired of her, though he had once been very fond of 
her. Besides, he was at this time making arrangements for his 
marriage with a beautiful Northern lady, so that whatever he 
might have felt, nobody knew anything about it. 

Elsie was my younger sister. I loved her dearly, and had 
been almost as proud as she was of her remarkable beauty. Her 
little boy was very fond of his mother, and she doated upon him . 
He mourned and mourned for her, after her death, till I almost 
thought he would die too. He was a beautiful boy, and at that 
time looked very much like his father, which was probably the 
reason why the master sold him, before he brought his bride to 
Oak Grove. 

It was very hard for me to part with poor Elsie's little boy. 
But the master chose to sell him, and my tears availed nothing. 
Zilpha, Elsie's infant, was given me to take care of when her 
mother died, and with that I was obliged to be content. 

Marion Lee ? the young mistress, was very beautiful, but as 



62 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



different from poor Elsie as light from darkness. She had deep 
blue eye3, with long silken lashes, and a profusion of soft brown 
bair. She always made me think of a half-blown rosebud, she 
was so delicate and fair. She proved a kind and gentle mistress. 
All the slaves loved her, as well they might, for she did every- 
thing in her power to make them comfortable and happy. 

When she came to Oak Grove, she chose me to be her 
waiting-maid. Zilpha and I occupied a large pleasant room 
next to her dressing-room. 

She made a great pet of Zilpha. No one ever told her that 
she was her husband's child. No one would have dared to tell 
her, even if she had not been too much beloved, for any one to 
be willing to grieve her, as the knowledge of this fact must 
have done. 

In due time she, too, had a little girl, beautiful like herself. 
Zilpha was delighted with the baby. She never wearied of 
kissing its tiny hands, and talking to it in her sweet coaxing 
tones. Mrs. Lee said Zilpha should be Ida's little maid. The 
children, accordingly, grew up together, and when they were old 
enough to be taught from books, everything that Ida learned 
Zilpha learned also. 

When Zilpha was seventeen, she was more beautiful than her 
mother had ever been, and she was as gentle and loving as Elsie 
had been passionate and proud. There was a beautiful, pleading 
look in her large dark eyes, when she lifted the long lashes so 
that you could see into their clear depths. She was graceful as 
a young fawn, and playful as a kitten, and she had read and 
studied so many books, that / thought she knew almost as much 
as the master himself. 

Mr. Mint urn lived at Lilybank, the estate joining Oak Grove. 
He was an old friend of Mr. Lee, and the families were very 
intimate. About this time a relative of Mrs. Minturn died at the 
far South, and left her a large number of slaves. I don't know 
how they were all disposed of, but one of the number, a very 
handsome young man, married Jerry, was brought to Lilybank, 
and became Mr. Minturn's coachman. He was considered a 
great prize, for he had a large muscular frame, and was capable 
of enduring a great amount of bodily fatigue. He was, also, for 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM, 



03 



a slave, very intelligent, and from being at first merely the 
coachman, he soon became the confidential servant of his 
master. 

Owing to the intimacy between the heads of the two families, 
the young people of both were much together. Ida often spent 
whole days at Lilybank, and as Zilpha always accompanied her, 
she had ample opportunity to become acquainted with the new 
man Jerry. 

It so happened that I, being more closely confined by my 
duties at home, had never seen Jerry, when in the summer 
following his coming to Lilybank, Mrs. Lee went to visit her 
friends at the North, and took me with her. Ida and Zilpha 
remained at home. We were gone three months. A few days 
after our return, Zilpha told me that she was soon to be married 
to Jerry. The poor child was very happy. She had evidently 
given him her whole heart. We talked long that day, for I 
wanted to know how it had been brought about, and she told 
me all, with the simplicity and artlessness of a child. They had 
felt great anxiety less their masters should oppose the marriage. 
But the fear was removed. Mr. Lee had himself proposed it, 
and Mr. Minturn gladly consented. I rejoiced to see my darling 
so happy, and felt truly thankful to God that the warm love of 
her heart had not been blighted. 

That same evening Jerry came to see Zilpha. She called me 
immediately, for I had never seen him, and she wished us to 
meet. The moment I looked upon his face, I knew he was my 
poor Elsie's son. I grew sick and faint, and thought I should 
have fallen. 

Zilpha made me sit down, and brought me a glass of water, 
wondering all the" time, poor thing, what had made me ill so 
suddenly. I soon recovered sufficiently to remember that I must 
not betray the cause of my agitation. I did not speak much, 
but watched Jerry's face as closely as I could, without arresting 
their attention. Every moment strengthened the conviction 
that my suspicion was correct. There was the same proud look 
that Elsie had, the same flashing eye, and slightly curled lip, and 
when he carelessly brushed back the hair from his forehead, I 
saw a scar upon it, which I knew was caused by a fall but a 



04 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



little while before his mother died. God! I thought, what 
will become of my darling child ! 

I soon left the room, on the pretence that my mistress wanted 
me, but really that I might shut myself into my own room and 
think. I did not close my eyes that night, and when the 
morning dawned, I was as far as ever from knowing what I 
ought to do. At last I resolved to see the master as early as I 
could, and tell him all. 

After breakfast I went to the library to fetch a book for my 
mistress, and found the master there. He was reading, but 
looked up as I entered, and said kindly, " What do you wish for, 
Phillis ?" I named the book my mistress wanted. He told me 
where it was. I took it from the shelf, and stood with it in my 
hand. The opportunity which I desired had come, but I 
trembled from head to foot, and had no power to speak. I 
don't know how I ever found words to tell him that Jerry was 
his own child. I tried, afterwards, to remember what I said, 
but I could not recall a word. He turned deadly pale, and sat 
for some minutes silent. At length in a low, husky voice, he 
said, " You will not be likely to speak of this, and it is well, for 
it must not be known. I shall satisfy myself if what you have 
told me is true. If I find that it is, I shall know what to do. 
You may go." 

I took the book to my mistress, and was sent by her to find 
Zilpha. She was in the garden with Ida, and when I called her, 
she came bounding towards me with such a bright, happy face, 
that I could scarcely restrain my tears. Zilpha was a beautiful 
reader. She often read aloud to her mistress, by the hour 
together. I liked to take my sewing and sit with them at sucli 
times, but that day I was glad to shut myself up alone in my 
room. 

The next day the master sent for me to the library. " It is 
true, Phillis," he said to me, "Jerry is without doubt poor 
Elsie's child." If an arrow had pierced my heart at that 
moment, I could not have felt worse, for though I had thought I 
was sure it was so, all the while a hope was lingering in my 
heart that I was mistaken. I did not speak, and the master 
seeing how I trembled, kindly told me to sit down, and went on j 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FHKKDOM. 



85 



I did not; see Jerry myself, 7 ' lie said, " Mr. Minturn made all 
necessary inquiries for me. Jerry remembers his mother, and 
describes her in a way that admits of no mistake. He remem- 
bers, too, that a gentleman used sometimes to visit his mother, 
who took a great deal of notice of him, and would let him sit 
upon his lap and play with his watch seals. His mother used to 
be very happy when this gentleman came, and when he went 
away she would almost smother the little boy with kisses, and 
talk to him of his papa. I offered to buy Jerry, but Mr. Minturn 
wowld not par. with him. If he would have consented, I might 
easily have disposed of the whole matter." 

A horrible fear took possession of me at these words. Would 
he dare to sell my darling Zilpha ? The thought almost mad- 
dened me. Scarce knowing what I did, I threw myself on my 
knees before him, and begged him not to think a second time of 
selling his own flesh and blood. He angrily bade me rise, and 
not meddle with that in which I had no concern. That he had 
a right, which he should exercise, to do what he would with his 
own. He had thought it proper, he said, to tell me what I had 
ust heard, but charged me never again to name the subject to 
any living being, and not to let any one suspect from my 
appearance that anything unusual had occurred. With this he 
dismissed me. 

What I suffered during that dreadful week, is known only to 
God. I could neither eat nor sleep. It seemed to me I should 
lose my reason. 

Jerry came once to Oak Grove, but I would not see him. 
Zilpha I avoided as much as possible. I could not bear to look 
upon her innocent happiness, knowing as I did that it would 
soon be changed into unspeakable misery. 

The first three days the master was away from home. On 
Thursday he returned. When I chanced to meet him, he looked 
uneasy ; and if he came to his wife's room and found me with 
her, he would make some excuse for sending me away. 

Saturday was a beautiful bright October day. and Ida proposed 
to Zilpha that they should take their books and spend the fore- 
noon in the woods. They went off in high spirits. I thought I 
had never seen my Zilpha look so lovely. Love and happiness 



66 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



had added a softer grace to her whole being. I followed them 
to the door, and she kissed me twice before leaving me ; then 
looking back, when she had gone a little way, and seeing me 
still standing there, she threw a kiss to me with her little hand, 
and looked so bright and joyous, that my aching heart felt a new 
pang of sorrow. What was it whispered to me then that I 
should never see her again ? 

I went back to my work, and presently the master came and 
asked for Ida. He wished her to ride with him. I told him 
where she was, and he went in search of her. Zilpha did not 
come back with them. " We told her to stay if she wished," Ida 
said. But my heart misgave me. I should at once have gone 
in search of her, but Mrs. Lee wanted me, and I could not go. 

I cannot bear, even now, to recall the events of that day. My 
worst fears were realized . During my master's absence, he had 
sold my darling to a Southern trader, who only waited a favor- 
able opportunity to take her away without the knowledge of the 
family. He had been that morning with Mr. Lee, and was in 
the house when Mr. Lee returned with Ida from the woods. 

I don't know how the master ever satisfied his wife and Ida 
about Zilpha's disappearance. There was a report that she had 
run away. But I don't think they believed it. Certainly I 
never did. 

I almost forgot my own sorrow when I saw how poor Jerry 
felt when he knew what had happened. Of course he did not 
know what I did. He never knew why Zilpha was sent away, 
but he knew she was sold, and that there was little reason to 
hope he should ever see her again. He went about his work as 
usual, but there was a look in his eye which made one tremble. 

Before many days he was missing, and though his master 
searched the country, and took every possible means to find him, 
he could discover no trace of the fugitive. I felt satisfied he had 
followed the North Star, but I said nothing, and was glad the 
poor fellow had gone from what would constantly remind him of 
Zilpha. 

During the following winter, Mrs. Lee had a dangerous 
illness. I watched over her night and day, and when she reco- 
vered, my master was so grateful for what I had done, that he 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



gave me my freedom, and money enough to bring me to the 
North. 

Of Zilpha's fate I have been able to learn nothing. I can 
only leave her with God, who, though his vengeance is long 
delayed, hears and treasures up every sigh and tear of his poor 
slave-children. 

I saw, a few days since, a man who knows Jerry. He is living 
not many miles from me, and I shall try to see him before I die. 
But I shall never tell him the whole extent of the wrongs he 
suffered in slavery. 




6S 



AUTOGKAr HS FOB FREEDOM. 



STORY TELLING. 

BY ANNIE PARKER. 

The winter wind blew cold, and the snow was falling- fast, 
But within the cheerful parlour none listened to the blast ; 
The fire was blazing- brightly, and soft lamps their radiance shed 
On rare and costly pictures, and many a fair young head. 

The father in the easy chair, to his youngest nestling dove, 
Whispered a wondrous fairy tale, such as all children love ; 
Brothers and sisters gathered round, and the eye might clearly 
trace 

A happiness too deep for words, on the mother's lovely face. 

And when the fairy tale was done, the blue-eyed Ella said, 
" Mama, please tell a story, too, before we go to bed, 
And let it be a funny one, such as I like to hear, 
1 Red Riding- Hood/ or « The Three Bears/ or < Chicken Little- 
dear. 5 " 

A smile beamed on the mother's face, as the little prattler spoke, 
And kissing" her soft, rosy cheek, she thus the silence broke, 
" I will tell you my own darling, a story that is true, 
Of a little Southern maiden, with a skin of sable hue. 

u Xariffe, her mother called her, a child of beauty rare, 
With soft gazelle-like eyes, and curls of dark and shining hair, 
A fairy form of perfect grace, and such artless winning ways 
That none who saw her, e'er could fail her loveliness to praise. 

" She sported mid the orange-groves in gleeful, careless play, 
And her mother, as she gazed on her, in agony would pray, 
( My Father, God ! be merciful ! my cherished darling save 
From the curse whose sum of bitterness is to be a female slave/ " 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



" God heard her prayer, but often he in wisdom doth withhold 
The boon we crave, that we may be pure and refined like gold ; 
And the mother saw Xariffe grow in loveliness and grace, 
Till the roses of five summers blushed in beauty on her face. 

" At length, one day, one sunny day, when earth and heaven 
were bright, 

The mother to her daily toil went forth at morning light ; 

At evening, when her task was done — how can the tale be told? 

She came back to her empty hut, to find her darling sold. 

" Come nearer, my own precious ones, your soft white arms 
entwine 

Around my neck, and kiss me close, sweet Ella, daughter mine ; 
Five years in beauty thou hast bloomed, of my happy life a part, 
Oh ; God! I guess the anguish of that lone slave-mother's heart. 

" Now, darlings, go and kiss papa, and whisper your good night, 
Then hasten to your little beds, and sleep till morning light ; 
But, oh ! before you close your eyes, God's care and blessing 
crave, 

On the saddest of His children, that poor heart-broken slave." 



70 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



THE MAX- OWNER. 

A friexd of mine, on the day of , 18 — , (the dates 

it is unnecessary to specify,) became the owner of a man. He 
had never owned one before ; and he has had so much trouble 
with him, that I doubt if he will ever allow himself to become 
owner of one again. My friend is not a Southerner ; yet the 
circumstances by which so singular a dispensation fell to him, 
it is unnecessary for me to recount. I will briefly describe the 
master and the man, and show how they succeeded in their 
relationship. 

The master was wholly respectable in his life and character ; 
endowed with good sense ; well enough off in the world, able to 
hire service, if he needed, and to pay for it : his temper not 
bad, though sometimes irritable ; — he could be provoked as others 
can. He had strong passions, and sometimes in the course of 
his life they had got the better of him, and had led him to 
conduct which, in the coolness of his mind, he bitterly repented. 
Circumstances might have made a bad man of him. The 
instructions which he received in his childhood, the example of 
his parents, the respectable neighbourhood in which he resided, 
the church which he attended, all had a favourable influence 
upon him. So he became a man of principle. He had not, 
indeed, the highest principles ; he was no hero ; he was not 
disposed to make himself a martyr. His religion was no other 
than the common religion of the church to which he was attached, 
and it demanded no peculiar sacrifice of him. He was a member 
of one of the leading political parties, and did his full duty in 
maintaining its cause. He called himself a patriot, however, 
not a partizan ; and talked ever of his country, as the highest 
exemplification of the great principles of liberty, and considered 
the success of our institutions as the hope of humanity. Yet 
he loved his country, — not his race. He was not without 
charity to the poor ; and was not unwilling to see them, indL 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



71 



vidually, rising above destitution. Yet lie did not like to 
associate with men lower in the social scale than himself ; but 
had an ambition that impelled him to court the society of those 
whose station and influence were superior to his own. Nor did 
he care for, or believe in, any suggestions or plans, the object 
of which was the elevation of the poor as a class, and the 
levelling upwards of the human race. He thought that as a 
divine authority has declared to us, "ye have the poor with you 
always," it was ordained that we should always have them, — 
that they were an exceedingly useful class, as a foundation in 
society, that the prosperous men of the world could not do 
without them, and that it was not best to give them too much 
hope of rising. 

Perhaps you will say I have given you no very definite descrip- 
tion of him. You will think, perhaps, were I called to write 
of him again, I might, at once, better make use of the words of 
the poet, — 

The annals of the human race, 

Their ruins, since the world began, 
Of him afford no other trace, 

Than this, — there lived A man I 

I fear, however, that I shall be unable to be more particular in 
my description of the servant. It is said, " like master, like 
man," and, indeed, leaving out the expressions above, which 
show the relationship of the master to the community and the 
church, the description of temper, and of general, moral, and 
religious principle, would answer to be repeated now. Suffice 
it to say, the man was not bad ; that is, not thoroughly bad. 
He cherished no secret desire for liberty. His master had no 
real fear of his attempting to escape. He loved his master ; 
and some thought, who did not wholly know him, that never 
slave loved a master with more fondness and devotion. Yet I 
. know that he was often disobedient. Passages, — not of arms,— 
but of ill-temper, of reproach, and of insolence, not unfrequently 
occurred between them. High words were used, hard looks 
and moody oftener still, perhaps, yet the master never struck 
his servant, nor did the servant ever offer violence towards his 
master. But at times they would have been very glad to part 



72 



AUTOGRAPHS FOE FREEDOM. 



company, if the one could have easily escaped, or the other 
could have made out to do without him. Much of the disobedi- 
ence which gave serious offence to the master, was the result 
of inadvertence. Lessons, the most frequently enjoined, were 
forgotten ; they were not always listened to with an obedient 
mind. Years long the master required this or that service from 
day to day, and yet the command was not once a year, I may 
say, attended to. Always the master was saying, — " to-morrow 
I shall turn over a new leaf with him but he had not energy 
enough to carry his purpose into effect. He intended to give 
his servant at least some moral education, to teach him self- 
control, to prevent his bursts of passion, not by the infliction of 
punishment, but by a true moral discipline ; yet the work was 
always delayed, and never accomplished. You will say, the 
master had himself some idle fancies that he ought not to have 
indulged, and that a severer course would have been more 
successful. But he was one of those who doubt the advantages 
and shrink from the application of severity, and he would have 
been no more prompt and resolute and persevering with his 
servant than with himself. 

At the commencement, I seemed to promise a story. But 
all my narrative is closed with a word more. The master was 
at the age of twenty-one, when he came into possession of his 
man. The connection will never be dissolved, except, at least, 
by death. Indeed, reader, if you have not already seen it, 
master and man were but one and the same person. 

And this is the moral of my little fiction. Who will believe 
that any man ought to have the ownership of another, when it 
is so rare to find one of us wholly competent to govern and to 
own himself? Nay, the better a man is, and the more qualified 
to direct and to govern others with absolute sway, the less is he 
willing to take the responsibility of the disposal of them, — but 
seeing his own unfitness for the office of lord, even of himself, 
he prays, not that he may be a master of others, but himself a 
servant of God. 




Oct., 1852. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



73 



DAMASCUS IN 1851. 

No city has been more variously described than Damascus, 
j because none has more contrasted features. A spruce Yankee, 
i hearing " Silk Buckingham's " description of his " Paradise/' 
| and seeing merely narrow, half-paved, mat-covered streets, and 
i dirty, mud- walled buildings, would prefer his native " Slabtown" 
| to the "most refreshing scene in all our travels." And yet 
1 Damascus is one of the wonders of the world, unrivalled in what 
is peculiarly its own, admitting no comparison with any existing 
city, revelling in a beauty and a splendour belonging to Islamism 
more than Christianity, characterising the age of the Caliphs 
rather than of the Crystal Palace. 

In antiquity it has no rival. Nineveh, Babylon, Palmyra, its 
contemporaries, have wholly perished ; while this oldest inhabited 
place has lost none of its population, yielded none of its local 
pre-eminence, abandoned but one of the arts for which it was so 
renowned, and taken not a tinge of European thought, worship, 
life. It numbers not far from one hundred and fifty thousand 
souls, of w T hom twenty thousand may be Greek and Armenian 
Christians. It lies in an exquisite garden at the foot of Anti- 
Lebanon, in a plain of inexhaustible fertility, watered by 
innumerable brooklets from those ancient streams, " Abana and 
Pharphar," and shut in by vast groves of walnut and poplar, a 
" verdurous wall of Paradise," which are all that the traveller 
sees for hours as he draws near the city of "Abraham's 
steward." 

Originally the seat of a renowned kingdom, and once the 
capital of the Saracen empire, it is now the centre of an 
Ottoman Pashalik, but virtually the metropolis of Syria, as it 
was in the earliest time. Miss Martineau and some others 
carelessly give it a length of seven miles ; but the real extent of 



74 



AUTOGRAPHS FOE FREEDOM. 



the city walls in any one direction is not more than two. The 
gardens and groves around, however, take the same name, and 
are over twenty miles in circuit, of a studied, picturesque wild- 
ness, shaded lanes, running side by side with merry brooks, the 
whole overshadowed by the deepest forest, and forming delicious 
relief from the sunburnt plains of Syria. Besides the walnut, 
so much prized for its fruit all through the East, and the poplar, 
the main dependence for building, the famous damson, or 
Damascene plum, abounds, the citron, orange and pomegranate 
spread their fruit around, the vine is everywhere seen, and only 
three miles off stands the forest of damask rose-trees whence 
the most delicious attar is made. But a genuine American will 
prefer the walnut-tree to all others, because of its freedom of 
growth, massiveness of trunk, depth of shade, and impressive 
reminiscence of home. These trees, together with the mulberry, 
do very much for the commerce of the city. But, indeed, 
Damascus is the chief depot of manufactures for Syria. Silk 
goods cannot be bought to such advantage elsewhere, nor of 
such antique patterns, nor of genuine " damask" colours. The 
business has suffered somewhat of late, because Turkish 
husbands discovering that English prints are so much cheaper, 
and their wives fancying the flowing calicoes to be so much 
prettier than the patterns which their grandmothers wore, 
foreign goods are supplanting the domestic ; and a macadamized 
road is contemplated from the city to its seaport Beiroot, whose 
effect would be to make British and French manufactures still 
more common, but, at the same time, to give free circulation to 
the handicraft of Damascus. As at Constantinople, Cairo, and 
elsewhere, each trade occupies its own quarter, — the jewellers, 
pipe-makers, silk-dealers, grocers, saddlers, having each their 
exclusive neighbourhood ; none of the Bazaars are such noble 
edifices as cluster around the mosque of St. Sophia ; and in the 
rainy season (that is, during their winter) the pavement is so 
wretched and slippery, and such a mass of mud and water oozes 
down from the rotten awnings, that one does no justice to the 
unequalled richness of some of the fabrics and the grandeur of 
some of the khans. One traveller informs the public that there 
is a grand " Bazaar for wholesale business " of variegated black 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



75 



and white marble, "surmounted by an ample dome," with a 
lively fountain in the centre. There are thirty -one such build- 
ing's, which we should call Exchanges, bearing each the name of 
the Sultan who erected them. Those that I visited were 
contiguous to the only street which wears a name in the East, 
and that name, familiar to us in the book of Acts, " Strait," 
Dritto, as your guide mumbles the word, — a long avenue, 
containing the only hotel in the city. 

An oriental peculiarity which makes the large towns exceed- 
ingly interesting is, that every occupation is carried on out of 
doors, and right under your eyes as you stroll along. Here the 
silk web is stretched upon the outside wall of some extended 
building; here the butcher is dressing the meat, perhaps for 
your dinner, right upon the side-walk ; and here a sort of 
extempore sausage is cooking, so that one might almost eat it 
as he walks, — a capital idea for hasty eaters, and a very nice 
article in its way. There is no other part of the world where 
so much cooking is to be seen all the while, and such loads of 
sweetmeats gladden the eyes of childhood, and such luscious 
compounds, scented with attar, spread temptation before every 
sense. The business of " El-Shans " might almost be headed 
by the five hundred public bakers, though the silk is still the 
principal manufacture, and there are reported to be seven 
hundred and forty-eight dealers in damask, thirty-four silk- 
winders, one hundred silk dyers, and one hundred and forty-three 
weavers of the same article. 

The famous Damascus blades are nothing but an " antiquity " 
now ; they are uniformly called so by the people, were offered 
to our purchase in very small quantities by persons who knew 
nothing of their manufacture, at exorbitant prices, and in very 
uncouth forms. They appeared to be curiosities to them, as 
they certainly were to us, and are said to be sometimes manu- 
factured in England. A mace, offered for sale among these 
scimetars of wavy steel, smacked of the Crusaders' time, and 
was richly inlaid with gold; the fire-arms, or blunderbusses, 
were grotesque and unwieldy, richly mounted, and gorgeously 
ornamented. 



76 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



An attempt is making- in certain quarters to persuade the 
civilised world that Turkey has still some military power. Of 
this almost imperial city the citadel is but a mass of ruins. 
Count Guyon, a confederate general with Kossuth, and now a 
Turkish Pasha and drill-officer, assured us it would be repaired 
and strengthened ; but the city walls offer no defence against a 
modern army; and the Turkish soldier, notwithstanding 1 his 
courage and endurance, cannot be bastinadoed into military 
science ; neither have educated Christian officers, like Guyon, 
any real influence. I frequently saw the sentinels asleep while 
upon duty, and recent experience has proved them incapable of 
standing- before a far smaller amount of really trained troops. 
Some of the barracks at Damascus are rather the finest which 
the Sultan possesses, and among- the best in the world, — some, 
too, of the military exercises are pursued with a creditable zeal, 
— but, on the whole, a more slatternly corps of men was never 
seen, nor one less confident in themselves. 

The Christian curiosities of this oldest of inhabited cities 
begin with the mosque of peculiar sanctity, once the site of St. 
John's Cathedral, whose chamber of relics, containing- a pre- 
tended head of the Baptist, is inaccessible even to Mussulmen, 
the priesthood excepted. Six hug*e Corinthian columns, once a 
part of its proud portico, are built into houses and stores, so that 
you get but faint glimpses of their beauty and size until you 
mount the flat mud roof of the modern buildings, and look down 
into the vast area of the temple, six hundred and fifty feet by 
one hundred and fifty; and there find towering above you these 
massive, blackened remains of Christian architecture, — signifi- 
cant emblems of the triumph of the Crescent over the Cross, 
and yet, by their imperishableness, a promise of renewed glory 
in some brighter future. That Islamism is hastening to decay, 
is shown impressively enough in the grand dervish mosque and 
khan, once quite celebrated as the Syrian enthronement of this 
advance guard of Mahommed ; now nothing could seem more 
deserted ! one minaret is threatening to fall, the spacious garden 
is all weed-grown, and few are left to mourn over the reverse. 
These banner-men of the prophet, no longer warriors, students, 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



77 



and apostles, do but beg* their bread and drone their prayers, 
and exchange the reputation of fanatics for that of hypocrites ; 
they are, in fact, monks of the mosque, like their brothers in 
celibacy, changing sadly enough from enthusiasm to formality — 
from the fervour of first love to the grave-like chillness of an 
exhausted ritual. 

St. Paul is of course the great name at Damascus ; and your 
dragoman is very certain always as to the place where he was 
lowered down the city wall ; then he takes you to the tomb of 
the soldier who befriended him, close at hand, and to the little 
underground chapel where the apostle's sight was restored. 
But, having passed in turn under the sceptre of Assyrian, Baby- 
lonian, Persian, Jew, Roman, Arabian, Turk, every stone of 
these buildings could tell a most interesting tale, and every 
timber of the wall could answer with an experience correspond- 
ing to the out-door revolution. 

But the grand attractions in this " Flower of the Levant and 
Florence of Turkey n are the coffee-houses and the palaces of 
the rich. The writer of Eothen, I think it is, says, " there is 
one coffee-house at Damascus capable of containing a hundred 
persons. " A Damascus friend, a resident clergyman, carried 
me into one where he had himself seen three thousand people 
on a gala-day, and several where hundreds of visitors would not 
make a crowd. This great necessity of Turkish life, — this 
deliverance from the loneliness of an oriental home, — this 
luxurious substitute for the daily newspaper, is carried to per- 
fection here. First of all comes the lofty, dome-covered hall, 
surrounded by couches like beds, enlivened on all festivals by 
the Arabian improvisator with his song and his tale ; back of 
this are a number of rude arbours, interlaced with noble shade- 
trees, and watered profusely by nimble brooks, the whole lighted 
every night by little pale lamps. These are the gossiping- 
places for the Damascene gentlemen ; where the fragrant 
tchebouque, the cool narghilch, or water-pipe, the delicious 
coffee, the indolent game at dominoes (I never saw chess played 
at the east), is relieved by such domestic anecdotes as, according 
to my American friend, brand the domestic life of the city with 
beastly sensuality. 



78 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



One would fain hope that these are the prejudices of an 
earnest missionary ; but, until the residence of years had given 
familiarity with the language, any opinions of a visitor would 
be erroneous, as well as presuming. Nothing, however, can 
bring back so powerfully the Arabian tales of enchantment as 
the interior of the wealthier Damascus houses. The outside is 
always mean and forbidding. You have sometimes to stoop 
under the rude, low gate ; and the first court, surrounded only 
by servants 7 rooms, has nothing of interest. But the second 
and third quadrangles become more and more spacious, and are 
always of variegated marble, containing a perpetually playing 
fountain, overhung by the orange, the citron, and the vine, 
whose fragrance floats dreamily on the moist air, lulling the 
senses to repose. The grand saloon I found to be always 
arranged pretty much the same. A lower part of the pavement 
near the door is the place., of deposit for slippers, shoes, and the 
pattens which Damascus women use so much in the winter — 
articles, all of them, never intended for ornament, and never 
fitted to the foot, but worn as loose as possible, and never within 
the sitting-room, but simply as a protection from out-door wet 
and soil. The lower portion of the room and its rug-strewn 
floor are of variegated marbles ; then comes curiously-carved 
woods, then painted stucco, decorated with mirrors rising to the 
distant, gay-coloured roof. The immense loftiness, the moist 
coolness, the gorgeous hues, the emblazoned texts from the 
Koran, the sweet murmur of the various fountains, the fragrance 
of the orange-groves, succeed to the out-door dreariness like a 
dream of Haroun Al Raschid to the wearied pilgrim on desert 
sands. The divan, or wide sofa, on three sides of this hall, is 
far more agreeable in this enervating climate than any European 
furniture; only in winter, as the ground underneath is per- 
meated by leaky clay tubes bearing the waters of the Barrady, 
and there is no other heating apparatus save a brazer of char- 
coal, one is sometimes very chilly, and is tempted to exchange 
this tomb-like dampness for a cozy corner near some friendly 
stove or familiar fire-place. 

But the general impression which unintelligent stranger* 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 79 

Scarry from Damascus is, that the people have what they want, 
land have gone wisely to work to realise their idea of earthly 
blessedness — an indolent, sensual, dreamy one to you, but in 
their eyes no faint type of the Mussulman's heaven. 




Cambridge, Mass. 



80 



AUTOGRAPHS FUR FKEEDOM. 



RELIGIOUS, MORAL, AND POLITICAL DUTIES. 

What is morally wrong- cannot be made practically right. 
The laws of morality are taught in the Bible ; they are 
unchangeable truths ; no sophistry, no expediency, no com- 
promise can set them aside. 

If politics are the science of government, and if civil govern- 
ment is a divine institution, intended to protect the rights of 
all ; if " an injury done to the meanest subject is an injury done 
to the whole body : M and if - rulers must be just, ruling in the 
fear of God,'' all legislation should be based on moral duty. 
Any enactments that have not this basis are, in the Divine sight, 
null and void. If man is endowed by nature with inalienable 
rights, no legislation can rightfully wrest them from him. Any 
attempt to do it is an infraction of the moral law. Our religious, 
moral, and political duties arc identical and inseparable. It is 
the duty of all Christian legislators so to act now, as they know 
all must act when truth and righteousness shall have a universal 
prevalence on the earth. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



81 



WHY SLAVERY IS IN THE CONSTITUTION. 

That the constitution of a country should guide its actions is a 
truism which none, perhaps, will be inclined to controvert. 
Indeed, so thoroughly is this sentiment inwrought into us, that 
we generally expect practice will conform to the constitution. 
But does not this subject States or nations to misapprehension 
by others ? South Carolina, for instance, abolishes the writ of 
habeas corpus with regard to the coloured people, and imprisons 
them, although citizens of the other States, when they enter her 
borders in any way. Now these are direct violations of the 
constitution of the United States, so direct that they cannot be 
explained away. Nor do we think that South Carolina even 
attempts it. She openly says, that it is owing to the existence 
of slavery among them, that the free coloured man, coming into 
contact with the slaves, will taint them with notions of liberty 
which will make them discontented — that therefore her own 
preservation, the first law of nature, requires her to do every- 
thing she can to keep the disturbing force out of her limits, 
even if she have to violate the constitution of the United States. 
This she asserts, too, when, at the formation of the constitution, 
she was one of the large slave-holding States — when she had 
before her the example of every nation that had practised 
slavery, and when now her senators and representatives in 
Congress are sworn to support the Constitution of the Union. 
Thus we see that it would be doing injustice to the constitution, 
were we to judge of it by the practice of South Carolina. 

But the inquirer will not be satisfied with the South Carolina 
reason. He wants something more and better. He says, too, 
that these give good occasion to those exercising the powers of 
the government to confirm all law-abiding citizens in the belief 
that they are well protected by the constitution, and to let the 
world see how much the United States prize it. But supposing 

F 



82 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



he were told that those who control the government feel, in this 
matter with South Carolina, — that those who had the control of 
the government had no power to coerce South Carolina to per- 
form her duty, — indeed, in a partizan view, that the person 
injured were no party, — that, as a general thing, they could not 
even vote, — were unimportant, nay, insignificant. If those 
reasons will not satisfy him, he must be content with them, for 
it is not likely that he will get any other. We further see that 
injustice would be done by considering the practice of a people 
as fairly representing their constitution. 

A constitution — the organic law — in truth, all other law is, in 
some degree, a restraint on men. It makes an umpire of right, 
of reason, which, if not the same in degree in all of us, is the 
same in nature. Yet it must be, to some extent, a restraint 
on the desires or selfish passions of men. In fact, it is only 
carrying out the rule of doing to others what they should do to 
us, and tends not only to preserve, but advance society. If no 
constitution or law agreeing with it existed, men would be left 
to the sway of their own passions — nearly always selfish — and 
they being many, and very different in different persons, some- 
times, indeed, altogether opposite, and of various intensity — 
would, by their indulgence, tend to confusion, to the deteriora- 
tion of society, and to its ultimate dissolution. 

Now the people of the United States, without the least hesi- 
tation, declare — and they fully believe it — that we are the freest 
nation on earth. Other nations, doubtless, with equal sincerity, 
say of themselves the same thing. In England where, as in 
other countries of the old world, there is a crowded population, 
railing to a high price everything eatable, the operatives, as 
they are called, find it difficult to sustain life. They work all 
the time they can, and, even after doing this, they sometimes 
perish for want of such food as a human being ought to eat v 
No one will say that affairs are well ordered here. Having no 
such state of things ourselves — for except in some of our larg-e 
cities, no one starves to death — we think that to suffer one to 
die in this way is cruel and heartless. And we greatly upbraid 
them for it. 

But here we have slavery — a vicious usage which European 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 83 

j nations, excepting one, have long since laid aside. This they 
have done not only because it was productive of innumerable 

i visible evils, but because it greatly and injuriously affected the 
character of #11 concerned in it, and in this way the character 
of the whole community — making one part of it proud and 
imperious — another suppliant and servile. They upbraid us 
with it, as being more inconsistent with the high principles we 
profess, than auy act tolerated among them is or can be with the 
principles they profess. Then whilst we wonder that with so 
much wealth as England unquestionably has, she should suffer 
her operatives to die for something to eat, she wonders that 
slavery — the worst thing known among men — should be per- 
nittedto raise its head, not only as high as the many good things 
?nd exalted things we possess, but above them, making them, 
when necessary, give way to it, and even contribute to its sup- 
port. Indeed, it appears to them like Satan appearing in com- 
pany with the sons of God, to accuse and try one of his children. 

But all this is of no avail. It produces no satisfying results — 
in fact, nothing but mutual ill-will and irritation. It is no 
difficult thing to select from the practices of many people such 
as are not what they ought to be — still the theory, the founda- 
tion of the government may be opposed to them, but may be 
unable to put them down. They may exist in spite of it, and in 
entire opposition to its main object. Indeed, it appears to be 
much like reasoning in a circle. We come to no end — no con- 
clusion. To come to any satisfactory end, any useful conclu- 
sion, we must take something permanent — something believed 
by both to be unchangeably right and moral, and compare our 
governments with it. Whichever comes nearest to the standard 
agreed on by both, must of course be nearest right. But what 
shall this be ? Now as it is utterly in vain for one to be happy 
unless he conform to the laws of his being, so it is in vain that 
governments are instituted, unless they aim to secure the hap- 
piness and safety of the governed — the people. The peculiar 
benefit or enrichment of those that administer the laws, has 
nothing to do with good government. Then it ought, by all 
means, to resemble the Divine government. We do not mean a 
theocracy as it has been administered, the worst, perhaps, of all 

2 



84 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



governments — but it should be remarkable for its sacred regard 
to justice and right. 

But it is objected, this deals with persons as individuals, and 
not as members of the body politic, and that all Christ's exhor - 
tations were of this kind. Well, be it so — what of that ? There 
is not the least danger, if one will acquit himself well in hi: 
various relations as an individual — a max — but what he will 
make a good citizen. 

Taking this as our standard, and recurring for a moment to 
the assertion of our superior happiness as a people — an assertion 
sometimes regarded as the boastful grandiloquence of our 
people — is it not true that our government, our constitution oj 
government we mean, more nearly resembles the Divine govern- 1 
ment than any other does, and therefore, that those under it are 
more happy ? Some, while they are inclined to admit the fact 
of our superior happiness, yet seem rather to attribute it to our 
great abundance of land than to the nature of the government. 
We do not wish in any way to deny, or even to neutralize this 
statement about the abundance of our land, but still it is one of 
the facts of the government — the government was made with 
this in view — it constitutes a subject for its action, and it makes 
of it a strong auxiliary. This, though undeniably a great cause, 
is not, in our judgment, the chief one. It is intellect — mind 
united to such feelings and desires that most advance others to 
be like God in intelligence and worth — that makes the chief 
cause. Where this is not — or is not called forth and put into 
activity, nothing to purpose can be done. Indeed it is the most 
powerful agent for good anywhere to be found — for it is behind 
all others, and sets all others to work. 

We have among us here no form of religion, as they have in 
other countries, to which one must conform before he can have 
any share in the government — no religion that is made part of 
the government, and which is, therefore, national Religion — 
how we shall serve or worship a Being or beings superior to 
ourselves, and who are thought to influence our destiny for 
ever — is, certainly, the highest concern of man. As no church 
or nation can answer for him at the judgment-seat, he ought to 
be left free on this matter. On this point he is free in this 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



85 



country, he is under no necessity to think in a particular channel. 
In his inquiries after truth, he has nothing- to fear from the 
government about the changes through which his mind may 
pass, or the conclusions to which it may be led ; although he 
may draw on him the prejudice and hatred of the sects from 
whom he feels compelled to differ.* We may truly say, that in 
this country, however far we may go in imitating foreign formSj 
we have nothing higher than the preacher of the truth. 

We have no monarch born to rule over us, whether we will 
or not ; nor are we obliged to support this costly leech according 
to his dignity by money wrung from the labour of the country, 
nor a host of relatives according to their dignity, as connected 
with the monarch. 

Nor have we a class bom to be our legislators. We have no 
legislative castes, nor social castes, but we may truly say, that 
any native-born citizen of the United States may aspire to any 
position, be it governmental or social. 

Nor have we fought so long — though it must be confessed we 
are ready pupils here— as most of the countries of the old world 
have; still we begin to make fighting almost a part of the 
government, and a part of the religion of the land. But ail this 
does not answer the question that many have asked, and that 
our intelligence and exemption from bias in many things make 
more remarkable — why did we suffer slavery to find a place in 
a constitution in which there are so many good things — why 
did we make a garden of healthful fruits and enchanting 
flowers, and place this serpent in it 1 * 

The answer to this question may be easily given by one that 
well knows the condition of the country that soon followed on 
the treaty of 1783. Till we were governed by the present con- 
stitution we were governed by the Articles of Confederation. 
The United States, though nominally a nation, had no power to 
enforce any stipulations she might make. For instance, if she 
should promise by a treaty to pay interest on the debt that we 
had contracted to secure our national independence, each State, 

* It is vain to say that rich governments cannot, and do not, offer 
effective temptations to clever and eloquent men, whose religious views 
differ from the national form, to induce them to adopt the latter. 



80 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



by its own power and authority, were to raise its quota of the 
whole amount. If a State failed to raise it, the United States 
had no redress. It had no authority to coerce any State, no 
matter what was the cause of failure. This is given as only an 
instance, and did we not think it made our position very plain, 
others might be given in manifold abundance — all tending to 
show the unfaithfulness of the States to the engagements of the 
United States, and the utter powerlessness of the latter to keep 
her word. It was owing to this that the main object of the 
Convention was the more perfect union of the States, and that 
in this way there might be conferred on the United States the 
same plenary power to cany out her engagements that a State 
had to carry out hers. 

The Convention did not meet to do away with slavery, but 
chiefly to form such an union as would obviate the difficulty 
already mentioned, and so keenly felt by some of the most 
earnest friends of the country. Although slavery was pretty 
well understood then, and seemed to be opposed to all the prin- 
ciples of freedom asserted, yet as it had been embraced by so 
many, that if they should be united against the constitution its 
adoption would be endangered, it was thought best not to insist 
on its instant abolition. Men as yet had too much selfishness in 
them, and, although reasonable beings, they have too much of 
the animal in them to see that, in the long run, honesty is the 
best policy. Many of the opponents of slavery, even from the 
slave States themselves, took this opportunity of showing the 
baseness and turpitude of the whole system — its advocates from 
the far South defending it as well as they could. These advo- 
cates gave it as their opinion that, owing to the Declaration of 
1776, onfiT which had already done wonders at the North — 
owing to the influence of the principles of liberty inserted into 
the constitution, and to the feeling of justice pervading all 
classes of persons, and to the progress of refinement and true 
civilization, slavery would ultimately disappear.* 

* Congress, the legislative department, and, of course, the judicial, iis 
interpreter, were intended to be founded on such undoubted principles of 
liberty, that it would be difficult for them to use their everywhere acknow- 
edged rights, and perform their everywhere expected duties, without first 



AUTOGRAPHS FOB FREEDOM. 



87 



At the time this opinion was expressed by the conventionists 
from the South, although we cultivated cotton to a small extent, 
it could not be regarded as staple . Soon after making* the con- 
stitution it began to be important. It could be produced only 
at the South. As it grew in value the notion of abolishing 
slavery began to wane, till now some of the leading men of that 
part of the country say it is not only a good thing, but an indis- 
pensable one to the highest perfection of the social system. 



putting aside the strongest impediment to tlieir exercise — slavery. In our 
judgment this has been done. There is no truth in public law more certain 
than that protection and allegiance are reciprocal. They must exist toge- 
ther or not at all. The power of the United States is adequate for the pro- 
tection of all within her limits, and from all within them she expects 
allegiance. If she is informed, in any way to be relied on, that any person 
is restrained of his rights under the constitution of the United States, it is 
her duty to see him set at liberty, if he be confined, and see that he is 
redressed. It is in yam for Congress to excuse itself from acting, by saying 
that it is a State concern. Can a citizen of the United States, if he be a 
citizen, be tortured or tormented by a State, when there is no pretence that 
he has violated the law of either ? 

The constitution of the United States authorises no man to hold another 
as a slave. The United States has no power to hold a slave. It matters 
not that it was intended to allow some to hold others as their slaves. A 
very vile person may intend to lock up in prison an innocent and just one, 
but through mistake he leaves the door unlocked ; does this, in the eyes of 
any reasonable men, prevent his making his escape through the door ? We 
are certain not. The only proper inquiry here is, which is supreme, 
the government of the Union,, or the government of a particular State of it? 
It is not necessary to answer this. If the first deal with no one as a slave, 
the subordinate cannot by law. Persons may be held as slaves by fraud, 
by cunning, by taking advantage of the ignorance in which we hold them 
by force, or a successful combination of force, but not by law. 





ss 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



THE TWO ALTARS; 
OR, TWO PICTURES IN ONE. 



BY MRS. HARRIET BEE CHER STCWE. 



I. — THE ALTAR OF LIBERTY, OR 1776. 

The well-sweep of the old house on the hill was relieved, dark 
and clear, against the reddening sky, as the early winter sun 
was going* down in the west. It was a brisk, clear, metallic 
evening ; the long drifts of snow blushed crimson red on their 
tops, and lay in shades of purple and lilac in the hollows ; and 
the old wintry wind brushed shrewdly along the plain, tingling 
people's noses, blowing open their cloaks, puffing in the back of 
their necks, and showing other unmistakable indications that he 
was getting up steam for a real roystering night. 

" Hurra ! how it blows !" said little Dick Ward, from the top 
of the mossy wood-pile. 

Now Dick had been sent to said wood-pile, in company with 
his little sister Grace, to pick up chips, which everybody knows 
was in the olden time considered a wholesome and gracious 
employment, and the peculiar duty of the rising generation. 
But said Dick, being a boy, had mounted the wood-pile, and 
erected there a flag-staff, on which he was busily tying a little 
red pocket handkerchief, occasionally exhorting Gracie "to be 
sure and pick up fast." u O, yes, I will," said Grace ; " but 
you see the chips have got ice on 'em, and make my hands so 
cold?" 

a O! don't stop to suck your thumbs! — who cares for ice? 
Pick away, I say, while I set up the flag of Liberty," 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



89 



So Grace picked away as fast as she could, nothing doubting 
but that her cold thumbs were in some mysterious sense an 
I offering on the shrine of Liberty ; while soon the red handker- 
chief, duly secured, fluttered and snapped in the brisk evening 
wind. 

" Now you must hurra, Gracie, and throw up your bonnet," 
said Dicky, as he descended from the pile. 

" But won't it lodge down in some place in the wood-pile ?" 
suggested Gracie, thoughtfully. 

" O r never fear ; give it to me, and just holler now, Gracie, 
f Hurra for Liberty !' and we'll throw up your bonnet and my 
cap ; and we'll play, you know, that we were a whole army, 
and I'm General Washington." 

So Gracie gave up her little red hood, and Dick swung hi3 
cap, and up they both went into the air ; and the children 
shouted, and the flag snapped and fluttered, and altogether they 
had a merry time of it. But then the wind — good-for-nothing, 
roguish fellow ! — made an ungenerous plunge at poor Grade's 
little hood, and snipped it up in a twinkling, and whisked it 
off, off, off — fluttering and bobbing up and down, quite across a 
wide, waste, snowy field, and finally lodged it on the top of a 
tall strutting rail, that was leaning very independently, quite 
another way from all the other rails of the fence. 

" Now, see ; do see ! " said Gracie ; " there goes my bonnet ! 
Whaf will Aunt Hitty say?" and Gracie began to cry. 

u Don't you cry, Gracie ; you offered it up to Liberty, you 
know ; it's glorious to give up everything for Liberty." 

" ! but Aunt Hitty won't think so." 

" Well, don't cry, Gracie, you foolish girl ! Do you think I 
can't get it ? Now, only play that that great rail was a fort, 
and your bonnet was a prisoner in it, and see how quick I '11 
take the fort, and get it ! " and Dick shouldered a stick, and 
started off. 

" What upon 'arth keeps those children so long ? I should 
think they were making chips ! " said Aunt Mehetabel ; " the 
fire's just a-going out under the tea-kettle." 

By this time Gracie had lugged her heavy basket to the door, 



90 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



and was stamping the snow off her little feet, which were so 
numb that she needed to stamp to be quite sure that they were 
yet there. Aunt Mehetabel's shrewd face was the first who 
greeted her as the door opened. 

" Gracie — what upon ? arth ! — wipe your nose, child; your 
hands are frozen. Where alive is Dick I and what 's kept you 
out all this time ? and where is your bonnet ?" 

Poor Gracie, stunned by this cataract of questions, neither 
wiped her nose nor gave any answer ; but sidled up into the 
warm corner, where grandmamma was knitting, and. began 
quietly rubbing and blowing her fingers, while the tears silently 
rolled down her cheeks, as the fire made their former ache 
intolerable. 

"Poor little dear!" said grandmamma, taking her hands in 
hers ; " Hitty shan't scold you. Grandma knows you've been 
a good girl ; the wind blew poor Grade's bonnet away ;" and 
gTandmamma wiped both eyes and nose, and gave her, more- 
over, a stalk of dried fennel out of her pocket, whereat Gracie 
took heart once more. > 

"Mother always makes fools of Roxy's children," said, 
Mehetabel, puffing zealously under the tea-kettle. "There's aj 
little maple sugar in that saucer up there, mother, if you will 
keep giving- it to her," she said, still vigorously ]»uffing. "And 
now, Gracie," she said, when, after a while, the fire seemed in ; 
tolerable order, "will you answer mv question? — Where is 
Dick?" 

" Gone over in the lot to get my bonnet." 

"How came your bonnet off?" said Aunt Mehetabel. "I 
tied it on firm enough." 

" Dick wanted me to take it off for him to throw up for 
Liberty," said Grace. 

" Throw up for fiddlestick ! Just one of Dick's cut-ups, and 
you were silly enough to mind him ! " 

" Why, he put up a flag-staff on the wood-pile, and a flag 
to Liberty, you know, that papa's fighting for," said Grace 
more confidently, as she saw her quiet, blue-eyed mother, 
who had silently walked into the room during the con- 
versation. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



91 



Grace's mother smiled, and said encouragingly, u And what 
then? 77 

" Why, he wanted me to throw up my honnet and he his cap, 
and shout for Liberty ; and then the wind took it and carried it 
off, and he said I ought not to be sorry if I did lose it ; it was 
an offering to Liberty. 77 

" And so I did,' 7 said Dick, who was standing as straight as 
a poplar behind the group ; " and I heard it in one of father's 
letters to mother, that we ought to offer up everything on 
the altar of Liberty ! And so I made an altar of the wood- 
pile." 

"Good boy!" said his mother; "alwa} T s remember every- 
thing your father writes. He has offered up everything on the 
altar of Liberty, true enough ; and I hope you, son, will live to 
do the same." 

u Only, if I have the hoods and caps to make," said Aunt 
Hittv, " I hope he won't offer them up every week — that's 
all ! 77 

" ! well, Aunt Hitty, I've got the hood; let me alone for 
that. It blew clear over into the Daddy-ward pasture-lot, and 
there stuck on the top of the great rail ; and I played that the 
rail was a fort, and besieged it, and took it." 

u ! yes, you're always up to taking forts, and anything else 
that nobody wants done. I'll warrant, now, you left Gracie to 
pick up every blessed one of them chips ! 77 

" Picking up chips is girl's work, 7 ' said Dick ; " and taking 
forts and defending the country is men's work." 

" And pray, Mister Pomp, how long have you been a man?' 7 
said Aunt Hitty. 

" If I a 7 nt a man, I soon shall be; my head is 'most up to my 
mother's shoulder, and I can fire off a gun too. I tried the 
other day, when I was up to the store. Mother, I wish you'd 
let me clean and load the old gun ; so that, if the British should 
come ! 

" Well, if you are so big and grand, just lift me out that table, 
sir," said Aunt Hitty, " for it's past supper-time. 77 

Dick sprung, and had the table out in a trice, with an abun- 
dant clatter, and put up the leaves with quite an air. His 



92 AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



mother with the silent and gliding motion characteristic of her, 
?hfl ^ ^ taWeCl0th and S P read [t > and to set. 

W TJf m ° rder ' and t0 P Ut on tlle P lates ™d 

touvte while Aunt Hitty bustled about the tea. 

« p,; P e / ad w i m th , e r ar ' s over ' for one reas ° n " * e . 

tw i t f 7 ' h ° W - vou scolded that pedlar, last week 
that brought along that real tea." ' 

J' 1°. h l m 1 S 'P° se Pd be taki »8- any of his old tea 

whaU w, ; a"* Dick ' " J neVer esac % «« d erstood 
111 t«'° Ut ^ tea ' the B ° StoQ ^ ^rew it 

"Because there was an unlawful tax laid upon it that the 
Government had no right to lav. It wasn't much intel? £ 

dl^ne/Jn,:' ' ^ ^ ° f ~ 
powei ! " W nghtS ' make US Slaves * a 

aZlT» S! " SaidDiCkj ' Stl ' ais ' hte ^ father 
woufd U !,. they , W ° U , ld . n0t be SlaV6S ! ^ clearly where it 

s^.ajfizr 4 uot be§ii to submit to " in - 

^ I wouldn't, if I was thev," said Dicky. 
Besides," said his mother, drawing him towards her, "it 
wasnt for themselves alone they did it. This is a great 
country, and it will be greater and greater; and it's very 
important that it should have free and equal laws, because it 
mil by-and-by be so great. This country, if it is a free one, 
Wdl be a light of the world-a city set on a hill, that cannot be 
ma; and all the oppressed and distressed from other countries 
snail come here to enjoy equal rights and freedom. This, dear 
boy, is why your father and uncles have gone to fight, and why 
they^do stay and fight, though God knows what they suffer, 
and —and the large.blue eyes of the mother were full of tears : 
yet a strong, bright beam of pride and exultation shone through 
those tears. ° 

"Well, well, Roxy, you can alway talk, everybody knows," 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 93 

jsaid Aunt Hitty, who had been not the least attentive listener 
! of this little patriotic harangue ; " but, you see, the tea is getting 
jcold, and yonder I see the sleigh is at the door, and John's come; 
!so let's set up our chairs for supper." 

The chairs were soon set up, when John, the eldest son, a lad 
of about fifteen, entered with a letter. There was one general 
exclamation, and stretching out of hands towards it. John 
threw it into his mother's lap ; the tea-table was forgotten, and 
the tea-kettle sang unnoticed by the fire, as all hands piled 
themselves up by mother's chair to hear the news. It was from 
Captain Ward, then in the American army, at Valley Forge. 
Mrs. Ward ran it over hastily, and then read it aloud. A few 
words we may extract : — " There is still," it said, " much suf- 
fering. I have given away every pair of stockings you sent 
me, reserving to myself only one ; for I will not be one whit 
better off than the poorest soldier that fights for his country. 
Poor fellows ! it makes my heart ache sometimes to go round 
among them, and see them with their worn clothes and torn shoes, 
and often bleeding feet, yet cheerful and hopeful, and every one 
willing to do his very best. Often the spirit of discouragement 
comes over them, particularly at night, when, weary, cold, and 
hungry, they turn into their comfortless huts on the snowy 
ground. Then sometimes there is a thought of home and warm 
fires, and some speak of giving up ; but next morning out 
comes Washington's general orders — little short note ; but it's 
wonderful the good it does ! and then they all resolve to hold 
on, come what may. There are commissioners going all 
through the country to pick up supplies. If they come to you 
I need not tell you what to do. I know all that will be in your 
hearts." 

" There, children, see what your father suffers," said the 
mother, " and what it costs these poor soldiers to gain our 
liberty." 

"Ephraim Scranton told me that the commissioners had 
come as far as the Three-mile Tavern, and that he rather 
'spected they'd be along here to-night," said John, as he was 
helping round the baked beans to the silen company at the 
*tea-table." 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



''To-night?— Do tell, now!" said Aunt Hitty. "Then it's 
time we were awake and stirring'. Let's see what can be got." 

" I'll send my new over-coat, for one," said John. " That old 
one an't cut up yet, is it, Aunt Hitty V- 

"Xo," said Aunt Hitty; "I was laying out to cut it over, 
next Wednesday, when Desire Smith could be here to do 
the tailoring." 

" There's the south room," said Aunt Hitty, musing ; " that 
bed has the two old Aunt Ward blankets on it, and the great 
blue quilt, and two comforters. Then mother's and my room, 
two pah' — four comforters — two quilts — the best chamber has 
got " 

" ! Aunt Hitty, send all that's in the best chamber. If any 
company comes, we can make it up off from our beds ! " said 
John. " I can send a blanket or two off from my bed, I know; 
— can't but just turn over in it, so many clothes on, now." 

" Aunt Hitty, take a blanket off from our bed," said Grace 
and Dicky at once. 

" Well, well, we'll see," said Aunt Hitty, bustling up. 

Up rose grandmamma, with great earnestness, now, and 
going into the next room, and opening a large cedar- wood 
chest, returned, bearing in her arms two large snow-white 
blankets, which she deposited flat on the table, just as Aunt 
Hitty was whisking off the table-cloth. 

" Mortal ! mother, what are you going to do ? " said Aunt 
Hitty. 

" There," she said, " I spun those, every thread of 'em, when 
my name was Mary Evans. Those were my wedding blankets^ 
made of real nice wool, and worked with roses in all the corners. 
I've got them to give ! " and grandmamma stroked and 
smoothed the blankets, and patted them down, with great pride 
and tenderness. It was evident she was giving something that 
lay very near her heart ; but she never faltered. 

" La ! mother, there's no need of that," said Aunt Hitty. 
" Use them on your own bed, and send the blankets off from 
that ; — they are just as good for the soldiers." 

" No, I shan't ! " said the old lady, waxing warm ; u 't an't a 
bit too good for 'em. I'll send the very best I've got, before 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 95 

iey shall suffer. Send 'em the best /" and the old lady gestured 
. (ratorically ! 

They were interrupted by a rap at the door, and two men 
ntered, and announced themselves as commissioned by Congress 
1 b search out supplies for the army. Now the plot thickens, 
.unt Hitty flew in every direction, — through entry-passages, 
leal-room, milk-room, down cellar, up chamber, — her cap- 
order on end with patriotic zeal; and followed by John, Dick, 
ud Gracie, who eagerly bore to the kitchen the supplies that 
lie turned out, while Mrs. Ward busied herself in quietly 
)rting, bundling, and arranging in the best possible travelling 
rder, the various contributions that were precipitately launched 
n the kitchen floor. ^ 

I Aunt Hitty soon appeared in the kitchen with an armful of 
|;ockings, which, kneeling on the floor, she began counting and 
hying out. 

I " There," she said, laying down a large bundle on some 
lankets, " that leaves just two pair apiece all round." 

" La ! " said John, " what's the use of saving two pair for 
le ? I can do with one pair, as well as father." 

" Sure enough," said his mother ; " besides, I can knit you 
nother pair in a day." 

" And I can do with one pair," said Dickey. 

" Yours will be too small, young master, I guess," said one of 
he commissioners. 

"No,' 7 said Dicky ; "I've got a pretty good foot of my own, 
nd Aunt Hitty will always knit my stockings an inch too long, 
;ause she says I grow so. See here, — these will do ;" and the 
oy shook his, triumphantly. 

"And mine, too," said Gracie, nothing doubting, having been 
usy all the time in pulling- off her little stockings. 

" Here," she said to the man who was packing the things 
ato a wide-mouthed sack ; " here 's mine," and her large blue 
yes looked earnestly through her tears. 

Aunt Hitty flew at her. — "Good land! the child's crazy. 
)on't think the men could wear your stockings, — take 'em 
way ! " 

Gracie looked around with an air of utter desolation, and 



06 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



began to cry, " I wanted to give them something," said she. 
u I'd rather go barefoot on the snow all day, than not send 'en 
anything." 

" Give me the stockings, my child," said the old soldie: 
tenderly. " There, I'll take 'em, and show 'em to the soldiers 
and tell them what the little girl said that sent them. And ii 
will do them as much good as if they could wear them. They've 
got little girls at home, too." Gracie fell on her mother', 
bosom, completely happy, and Aunt Hitty only muttered. 
" Everybody does spile that child ; and no wonder, neither ! '' 

Soon the old sleigh drove off from the brown house, tightly 
packed and heavily loaded. And Gracie and Dicky were' 
creeping up to their little £ed^. 

" There's been something put on the altar of Liberty to-night, 
hasn't there, Dick?" 

"Yes, indeed," said Dick; and, looking up to his mother, he 
said, " But, mother, what did you give ? " 

" I ? " said the mother, musingly. 

" Yes, you, mother ; what have you given to the country ? " 
"All that I have, dears," said she, laying her hands gently 
on their heads, — " my husband and my children ! " 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



<)7 



II. — THE ALTAR % OF , OR, 1850. 

The setting* sun of chill December lighted up the solitary front 

window of a small tenement on street, which we now have 

occasion to visit. As we push gently aside the open door, we 
gain sight of a small room, clean as busy hands can make it, 
where a neat, cheerful young mulatto woman is busy at an 
ironing-table. A basket full of glossy-bosomed shirts, and 
faultless collars and wristbands, is beside her, into which she is 
placing the last few items with evident pride and satisfaction, 
A bright, black-eyed boy, just come in from school, with his 
satchel of books over his shoulder, stands, cap in hand, relating 
to his mother how he has been at the head of his class, and 
showing his school-tickets, which his mother, with untiring' 
admiration, deposits in the little real china tea-pot, which, as 
being their most reliable article of gentility, is made the deposit 
of all the money and most especial valuables of the family. 

"Now, Henry," says the mother, " look out and see if father 
is coming along the street;" and she begins filling the little 
black tea-kettle, which is soon set singing on the stove. 

From the inner room now daughter Mary, a well-grown girl 
of thirteen, brings the baby, just roused from a nap, and very 
impatient to renew his acquaintance with his mamma. 

" Bless his bright eyes ! — mother will take him," ejaculates 
the busy little woman, whose hands are by this time in a very 
floury condition, in the incipient stages of wetting up biscuit, 
u in a minute ;" and she quickly frees herself from the flour and 
paste, and, deputing Mary to roll out her biscuit, proceeds to 
the consolation and succour of young master. 

" Now, Henry," says the mother, " you'll have time, before 
supper, to take that basket of clothes up to Mr. Sheldin's put 
in that nice bill that you made out last night. I shall give you 
a cent for every bill you write out for me. What a comfort it 
is, now, for one's children to be gettin 7 learnin' so ! " 



98 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Henry shouldered the basket, and passed out the door, just 
as a neatly-dressed coloured man walked up, with his pail and 
white- wash brushes. 

" 0, you've come, father, have you ? — Mary, are the biscuits 
in? — you may as well set the table, now. Well, George, what's 
the news?" 

" Nothing", only a pretty smart day's work. I've brought 
home five dollars, and shall have as much as I can do these two 
weeks ! " and the man, having- washed his hands, proceeded to 
count out his change on the ironing-table. 

" Well, it takes you to bring in the money," said the delighted 
wife ; " nobody but you could turn off that much in a day ! " 

" Well, they do say — those that's had me once — that they 
never want any other hand to take hold in their rooms. I 
s'pose its a kinder practice I've got, and kinder natural ! " 

" Tell ye what," said the little woman, taking down the 
family strong box — to wit, the china tea-pot aforenamed — and 
pouring the contents on the table, " we're getting mighty rich 
now ! We can afford to get Henry his new Sunday cap, and 
Mary her muslin-de-laine dress ; — take care, baby, you rogue ! " 
she hastily interposed, as young master made a dive at a dollar 
bill, for Ins share in the proceeds. 

" He wants something, too, I suppose," said the father ; " let 
him get his hand in while he 's young." 

The baby gazed with round, astonished eyes, while mother 
with some difficulty, rescued the bill from his grasp; but, 
before any one could at all anticipate his purpose, he dashed in 
among the small change with such zeal as to send it flying all 
over the table. 

"Hurra! — Bob's a smasher!" said the father, delighted; 
"he'll make it fly, he thinks;" and, taking the baby on his 
knee, he laughed merrily, as Mary and her mother pursued the 
rolling coin all over the room. 

" He knows now, as well as can be, that he's been doing 
mischief," said the delighted mother, as the baby kicked and 
crowed uproariously; — "he's such a forward child, now, to be 
only six months old ! — O, you've no idea, father, how mis- 
chievous he grows;" and therewith the little woman began to 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



99 



roll and tumble the little mischief-maker about, uttering divers 
frightful threats, which appeared to contribute, in no small 
degree, to the general hilarity. 

" Come, come, Mary," said the mother, at last, with a sudden 
burst of recollection ; a you mustn't be always on your knees 
fooling with this child ! — Look in the oven at them biscuits." 

"They're done exactly, mother, — just the brown!" — and, 
with the word, the mother dumped baby on to his father's knee, 
where he sat contentedly munching a very ancient crust of 
bread, occasionally improving the flavour thereof by rubbing it 
on his father's coat-sleeve. 

" What have you got in that blue dish, there ?" said George, 
when the whole little circle were seated around the table. 

" Well, now, what do you suppose?" said the little woman, 
delighted ; — " a quart of nice oysters, — just for a treat, you 
know. I wouldn't tell you till this minute," said she, raising 
the cover. 

" Well," said George, " we both work hard for our money, 
and we don't owe anybody a cent ; and why shouldn't we have 
our treats, now and then, as well as rich folks ?" 

And gaily passed the supper hour ; the tea-kettle sung, the 
baby crowed, and all chatted and laughed abundantly. 

" I '11 tell you," said George, wiping his mouth, " wife, these 
times are quite another thing from what it used to be down in 
Georgia. I remember then old Mas'r used to hire me out by 
the year ; and one time, I remember, I came and paid him in 
two hundred dollars, — every cent I 'd taken. He just looked it 
over, counted it, and put it in his pocket-book, and said, ' You 
are a good boy, George,' — and he gave me half -a- dollar /" 

6 I want to know, now !" said his wife. 

a Yes, he did, and that was every cent I ever got of it ; and, 
I tell you, I was mighty bad off for clothes, them times." 

" Well, well, the Lord be praised, they 're over, and you are 
in a free country now !" said the wife, as she rose thoughtfully 
from the table, and brought her husband the great Bible. The 
little circle were ranged around the stove for evening prayers. 

" Henry, my boy, you must read, — you are a better reader 
than your father, — thank God, that let you learn early !" 

q 2 



100 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



The boy, with a cheerful readiness, read, " The Lord is my 
Shepherd,'-' and the mother gently stilled the noisy baby, to 
listen to the holy words. Then all kneeled, while the father, 
with simple earnestness, poured out hi3 soul to God. 

They had but just risen, — the words of Christian hope and 
trust scarce died on their lips, — when, lo ! the door was burst 
open, and two men entered ; and one of them advancing*, laid 
his hand on the father's shoulder. " This is the fellow," said 
he. 

" You are arrested in the name of the United States!" said 
the other. 

u Gentlemen, what is this V said the poor man, trembling*. 
" Are you not the property of Mr. B., of Georgia ?" said the 
officer. 

" Gentlemen, I 've been a free, hard-working* man, these ten 
years." 

" Yes, but you are arrested on suit of Mr. B., as his slave." 

Shall we describe the leave-taking ? — the sorrowing wife, the 
dismayed children, the tears, the anguish, — that simple, honest, 
kindly home, in a moment so desolated ! Ah, ye who defend 
this because it is law, think, for one hour, what if this that 
happens to your poor brother should happen to you ! 

# * * * it- 
It was a crowded court -room, and the maa stood there to be 
tried — for life 1 — no ; but for the life of life— for liberty ! 

Lawyers hurried to and fro, buzzing, consulting, bringing 
authorities,— all anxious, zealous, engaged, — for what? — to 
save a fellow-man from bondage ? — no ; anxious and zealous 
lest he might escape, — full of zeal to deliver him over to slavery. 
The poor man's anxious eyes follow vainly the busy course of 
affairs, from which he dimly leam3 that he is to be sacrificed — 
on the altar of the Union ; and that his heart-break and anguish, 
and the tears of his wife, and the desolation of his children, 
are, in the eyes of these well-informed men, only the bleat 
of a sacrifice, bound to the horns of the glorious American 
altar ! 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOAT. 



101 



Again it is a brig-lit day, and business walks brisk in this 
market. Senator and statesman, the learned and patriotic, are 
out this day, to give their countenance to an edifying- and 
impressive, and truly American spectacle,— the sale of a man ! 
All the preliminaries of the scene are there ; dusky-browed 
mothers, looking with sad eyes while speculators are turning* 
round their children, — looking' at their teeth, and feeling of 
their arms ; a poor, old, trembling woman, helpless, halt-blind, 
whose last child is to be sold, holds on to her bright boy with 
i trembling hands. Husbands and wives, sisters and friends, all 
; soon to be scattered like the chaff of the threshing-floor, look 
sadly on each other with poor nature's last tears ; and among 
them walk briskly glib, oily politicians, and thriving men of 
law, letters, and religion, exceedingly sprightly and in good 
spirits, — for why? — it isn't they that are going to be sold ; it's 
only somebody else. And so they are very comfortable, and 
look on the whole thing as quite a matter-of-course affair; 
and, as it is to be conducted to-day, a decidedly valuable, and 
judicious exhibition. 

And now, after so many hearts and souls have been knocked 
and thumped this way and that way by the auctioneer's hammer, 
comes the instructive part of the whole ; and the husband and 
father, whom we saw in his simple home, reading and praying 
with his children, and rejoicing, in the joy of his poor ignorant 
heart, that he lived in a free country, is now set up to be 
admonished of his mistake. 

Now there is great excitement, and pressing to see, and 
exultation and approbation ; for it is important and interesting 
to see a man put down that has tried to be &free man. 

"That's he, is it? — Couldn't come it, could he?" says 
one. 

" No, and he will never come it, that's more," says another, 
triumphantly. 

" I don't generally take much interest in scenes of this 
nature," says a grave representative ; — " but I came here to-day 
for the sake of the principle ! " 

"Gentlemen," says the auctioneer* "we've got a specimen 
here that some of your Northern abolitionists would give any 



102 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



price for ; but they shan't have him ! — no ! we Ve looked out 
for that. The man that buys him must give bonds never to 
sell him to go North again?" 

u Go it ! " shout the crowd, " good ! — good ! — hurra !" 
" An impressive idea !" says a senator ; " a noble maintaining 
of principle !" and the man is bid off, and the hammer falls with 
a last crash on his hearth, and hopes, and manhood, and he lies 
a bleeding wreck on the altar of Liberty ! 

Such was the altar in 1776 ; — such is the altar in 1850 



AUTOGEAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



103 



OUTLINE OF A MAN. 

In some of those castle building 1 day-dreams, in which, like 
all youth of an imaginative turn, I was wont, in my early days, 
to indulge ; a favourite image of my creation was an Africo- 
American for the time,—** coloured man, who had known by 
experience the bitterness of slavery, and now by some process 
free, so endowed with natural powers, and a certain degree of 
attainments, all the more rare and effective for being acquired 
under great disadvantages,— as to be a sort of Moses to his 
oppressed and degraded tribe. He was to be gifted with a noble 
person, of course, and refinement of manners, and some elegance 
of thought and expression ; by what unprecedented miracle 
such a paragon was to be graduated through the educational 
appliances of American slavery, imagination did not trouble 
herself to inquire. She was painting fancy-pieces, not portraits. 

Having thus irresponsibly struck out upon the canvas her 
central figure, she would not be slow to complete the picture 
with many a rose-coloured vision of brilliant successes and 
magic triumphs won by her hero, in his great enterprise of the 
redemption of his people. A burning sense of their wrongs 
fired his eloquence with an undying, passionate earnestness, 
and as he alternately reproached the injustice, and appealed to 
the generosity of his oppressors, all opposition gave way before 
him ; the masses, as one man, demanded the emancipation of 
his long-degraded, deeply-injured race ; and millions of regene- 
rated men rose up, upon their broken chains, and called him 
blessed. 

Years rolled away, and these poetic fancies faded " into the 
light of common day." The cold, stern, pitiless reality remained. 
The dark incubus of slavery yet rested down upon more than 
three millions of the victims of democratic despotism. But the 



104 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



triumphant champion of the devoted race had melted away, with 
tne morning* mists of my boyish conjuring". 

One morning* in the summer of 1814, walking* ujfc Main-street 
in the city of Hartford, I was attracted hy the movements of a 
g*roup of some twenty-five or thirty men and women, in a small 
recess, or court, hy the side of the old Centre Church. They 
appeared to be organized into an assembly, and a tall mulatto 
was addressing them. I drew near to listen. The speaker was 
recounting- the oft-enacted history of a flight from slavery. 
With his eye upon the cold, but true north star, and his ear ever 
and anon bent to the ground, listening for the " blood-hound's 
savage bay, y sure-footed and panting, the fugitive was before 
me ! My attention had been arrested ; I was profoundly inter- 
ested. The. audience was the American Anti-slavery Society, 
then just excluded from some of the public halls of the cit}~, and 
fain to content themselves, after an apostolic sort, with the next 
best accommodations. The orator was Frederick Douglass, 
the most remarkable man of this country, and of this age ; and 
— may I not dare to add— the almost complete fulfilment of my 
early dream ! 

Since that day, through assiduous application, and a varied 
experience, he has continued ,to develop in the same wonderful 
ratio of improvement, which even then distinguished liim as a 
prodigy in self-education. Unusually favored in personal 
appearance and address, full of generous 1 impulse and delicate 
sensibility, exuberant in playful wit, or biting sarcasm, or stem 
denunciation, ever commanding in Ins moral attitude, earnest 
and impressive in manner, with a voice eminently sonorous and 
flexible, and gesture full of dramatic vivacity, I have many times 
seen large audiences swayed at his will ; at one moment con- 
vulsed with laughter, and the next bathed in tears ; now lured 
with admiration of the orator, and now with indignation at the 
oppressor, against whom he hurled his invective. But in my 
boyhood's quasi-prophetic fancy of such a man and his inimita- 
ble success, I had not counted upon one antagonist, whose reality 
and potency, the observation of every day now forces painfully 
upon me. I mean the strange and unnatural prejudice against 
mere colour, which is so all-prevalent in the American breast, as 



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105 



almost to nullify the influence of such a man, so pleading ; while 
his dignity, his urbanity, his imperturbable serenity and good 
nature, his genuine purity and worth all fail, at times, to secure 
him from the grossest indignities, at the hands of the coarse and 
brutal. Xobody who knows him will be inclined to question 
our estimate of his character, but it still comports with the intel- 
ligence and refinement and piety of a large proportion of 
i American society to label him "nigger," and the name itself 
invites to safe contumely, and irresponsible violence. 

I have spoken of Frederick Douglass as an interesting man — 
a wonderful man. Look at him as he stands to-day before this 
nation, and then contemplate his history. 

Begin with him when, a little slave-child, he lay down on his 
rude pallet, and that slave-mother, from a plantation twelve 
miles away, availed herself of the privilege granted grudgingly, 
of travelling the whole distance, after the day's work, (on peril 
of the lash, unless back again by sunrise to her task,) that she 
might lie there by his side, and sing him with her low sweet 
song* to sleep. "I do not recollect," says he, "of ever seeing* 
my mother by the light of day. She was with me in the night. 
She would he down with me, and get me to sleep, but long* 
before I awaked she was gone." How touching the love of that 
dark-browed bondwoman for her boy !' How precious must 
the memory of that dim but sweet remembrance be to him, who 
though once a vassal, bound and scourged, and still a Helot, 
proscribed and wronged, ma}' not be robbed of this dear token 
that he, too, had once a mother! Her low sad lullaby yet warps 
his life's dark woof — for she watches over his pathway now 
with spirit-eyes, and still keeps singing* on in his heart, and 
nursing his courage and his patience. 

Follow him through all the tempestuous experience of his 
bondage. His lashings, his longings, his perseverance in pos- 
sessing himself of the key of knowledge, which, after all, only 
unlocked to him the fatal secret that he was a slave, a thing to 
be bought and sold like oxen. Imagine the tumult of his soul, 
as standing by the broad Chesapeake, he watched the receding 
vessels, "while they flew on their white wings before the 
breeze, and apostrophized them as animated by the living spirit 



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of freedom or when reading* in a stray copy of the old 
" Columbian Orator/' (verily, all our school-books must be 
expurgated of the incendiary 1 perilous stuff' in which they 
abound,) the " Dialogue between a Master and his Slave/' and 
Sheridan's great speech on Catholic Emancipation.! See to 
what heroic resistance his proud heart had swollen, when he 
turned outright upon his tormentor — pious Mr. Corey, the 

* " Our house stood within a few rods of the Chesapeake bay, whose 
broad bosom was ever white with sails from every quarter of the habitable 
globe. Those beautiful vessels, robed in purest white, so delightful to the 
eye of freemen, were to me so many shrouded ghosts to terrify and torment 
me with thoughts of my wretched condition. I have often, in the deep 
stillness of a summer's Sabbath, stood all alone upon the lofty banks of 
that noble bay, and traced, with saddened heart and tearful eye, the count- 
less number of sails moving off to the mighty ocean. The sight of these 
always affected me powerfully. My thoughts would compel utterance; and 
then, with no audience but the Almighty, I would pour out my soul's com- 
plaint, in my rude way, with an apostrophe to the moving multitude of 
ships : — 

"You are loosed from your moorings, and are free; I am fast in my 
chains, and am a slave ! You move merrily before the gentle gale, and I 
sadly before the bloody whip! You are freedom's swift-winged angels 
that fly around the world ; I am confined in bands of iron ! that I were 
free ! that I were on one of your gallant decks, and under your protect- 
ing wing ! Alas ! betwixt me and you the turbid waters roll. Go on, go 
on. that I could also go ! Could I but swim ! If I could fly ! 0, why 
was I born a man, of whom to make a brute ! The glad ship is gone; she 
hides in the dim distance. I am left in the hottest hell of unending slavery. 
God, save me ! God, deliver me ! Let me be free ! Is there any God ? 
Why am I a slave ? I will run away. * * * Only think of it ; one hun- 
dred miles straight north, and I am free! Try it? Yes! God helping 
me, I will. It cannot be that I shall live and die a slave. * * * " — Auto- 
biography of Douglass, pp. 64, 65. 

t " There was no getting rid of it [the thought of his condition]. It was 
pressed upon me by every object within sight or hearing, animate or 
inanimate. The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal 
wakefulness. Freedom now appeared, to disappear no more for ever. It 
was heard in every sound, and seen in everything. It was ever present to 
torment me with a sense of my wretched condition. I saw nothing without 
seeing it, I heard nothing without hearing it, and felt nothing without 
feeling it. It looked from every star ; it smiled in every calm, breathed in 
every wind, and moved in every storm." — Autobiography, pp. 40, 41. 




AUTOGRAPHS FOE FREEDOM. 1(> 7 



"nio-cer-breaker "-and inflicted condign retnbution on his 
heartless ribs; "after which," says he, significantly, I was 
n ver whipp d again; I had several figMs, but was never 
whipped/ Attend him in his exodus from . our repubhcan 
E-. pt. Witness his struggles with poverty ; his vam attempts 
to find employment at his trade, as a coloured man, m the free 
North. Behold him at last emerging from Ins obscurity at the 
Anti-slavery Convention in Nantucket Somebody who s 
aware of his extraordinary natural intelhgence, ^ fcm£ 
Leak Trembhngly he consents. " As soon as he had taken 
I e^^ sSl Mr. y Gamson, after describing the tremendous 
Sect of hi remarks upon the audience, « filled with hope and 
Ihation, I rose and declared that Patrick Heniyv of 
tionary fame, never made a speech more eloquent m the cau^eoi 
liberty, than the one we had just listened to from the hunted 

'was just eleven years ago,-and what is Frederick 
Douglass now ? I would fain avoid the language or 
tfon It is ever a cruel kindness winch fjrtj^Jg 
expectations, which cannot but be disappointed. BuV whe m 
view of the fact that the subject of tins sk etc *™ h *^™ 
years ago A slave, in aU the darkness and disability of Southern 
bondage, I affirm that his present ^^'^Z^ce- 
position constitute a phenomenon hitherto P'fjJJJ"* 
dented in the history of intellectual and ^\ h TZT^l 
none who know and are competent to weigh the ^> wd 
account the terms extravagant. It is not to . fc jexpe ed I ut 
that his mental condition should betray his early ^»8 e • 
His information, though amazing, under the 
will not of course bear comparison, m fulness and ^ 
with that of men who have been f^J^^fL^S 
from childhood. In his writings, the deficiency of e^c 
pline is most manifest, rendering them diffuse and _ unequal 
Lugh always interesting, and often exceedingly eff^ ^ He 
is properly an orator. His addresses, hke those of ^ hitneld 
and" man/ other popular speakers, lose ^ 
their effect in reading. They require the hvmg voice, andthe 
magnetic presence of the orator. But even m this respect, 



108 



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Doug-lass is not uniform in his performance, but is quite depen- 
dent on his surroundings, and the inspiration of the moment. 
But when, all these consenting", he becomes thoroughly pos- 
sessed of his theme, and his tall form — six feet high and straight 
as an arrow, — his bearing* dignified and graceful, — self-pos- 
sessed, yet modest, — his countenance flexible, and wonderful in 
power of expression, and his voice, with its rich and varied 
modulation, are all summoned to the work of enchantment, 
many a rapt assembly, insignificant hi neither numbers nor 
intelligence, can testify to the witchery of his eloquence. 

And, after all, the moral features of this interesting character 
constitute its principa charm. The integrity and manliness of 
Frederick Douglass, potent and acknowledged where he is at 
all known, have much to do with his influence as a popular 
orator. It has been customary, with a certain class of Shibbo- 
leth-pronouncers to class him with infidels, but this is only 
the appropriate and characteristic retort of a certain sort of 
c< highly respectable " Christianity to his uncompromising* 
denunciations of its hollow 'and selfish character. I think 
Frederick Douglass is a Christian ; he is a g-entleman, I know. 
There are few white men of my acquaintance, who could have 
borne so much adulation, without losing the balance of their 
self-appreciation. Nobody ever kirew Frederick Douglass to 
over-rate himself, or to thrust himself anywhere where he did 
not belong, or upon an} r body who might by any possibility 
object to his companionship, — unless, in the latter case, when 
he deemed necessary the assertion of a simple right. Whence 
he got his retiring and graceful modesty, and his nice sense of 
the minute proprieties, — unless it be somehow in his blood, — is 
a mystery to me. Can it be possible that such refinements 
are scourged into men " down South ? 99 An illustration of this 
may be seen in his response to those gentlemen of Rochester, 
who, by way of gratifying a grudge against the Anti-slavery 
faction of their party, nominated Douglass for Congress in 
derision. 

" Gextlemex : — I have learned with some surprise, that in 
the Whig Convention held in this city on Saturday last, you 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



109 



signified, by your votes, a desire to make me your representa- 
tive in the Legislature of this State. Never having, at any 
time that I recollect, thought, spoken, or acted, in any way, to 
commit m} T self to either the principles or the policy of the 

! Whig party; but on the contrary, having always held, and 
publicly expressed opinions diametrically opposed to those held 

1 by that part of the Whig party which you are supposed to 
represent, your voting for me, I am bound in courtesy to 
suppose, is founded in a misapprehension of my political 
sentiments. 

" Lest you should, at any other time, commit a similar 
blunder, I beg to state, once for all, that I do not believe that 
the slavery question is settled, and settled for ever. I do not 
believe that slave-catching is either a Christian duty, or an 
innocent amusement. I do not believe that he who breaks the 
i arm of a kidnapper, or wrests the trembling captive from his 
i grasp, is 1 a traitor.' I do not believe that Daniel Webster is 
I the saviour of the Union, nor that the L nion stands in need of 
such a saviour. I do not believe that human enactments are 
to be obeyed when they are point-blank against the law of the 
! living God. And believing most fully, as I do, the reverse of 
j all this, you will easily believe me to be a person wholly unfit 
to receive the suifrages of gentlemen holding the opinion and 
favouring the policy of that wing of the Whig party denomi- 
nated ' the Silver Grays' 

u With all the respect which your derision permits me to 
entertain for you, 

" I am, gentlemen, 
" Your faithful fellow-citizen, 

" Frederick Douglass." 

The perpetrators of the wanton and gratuitous insult which 
elicited this beautiful rebuke, would be sadly outraged were we 
to insist on withholding the title of " gentlemen ' ; from those 
who could, on any pretence, trample on the feelings of such as 
they esteem their inferiors. If they half begin to comprehend 
the meaning of the term, much more to feel its power, their 
cheeks must have crimsoned with 3hame ; when they saw their 



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AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



own unprovoked assault, contrasted with the calm and self- 
respectful serenity of this reply. 

Another instance of this dignity under circumstances of 
peculiar trial, may be found in his own account — in the columns 
of " Frederick Doug-lass' Paper " — of a rencontre with a hotel 
clerk in Cleveland. It is as follows : — 

" At the ringing of the morning- bell for breakfast, I 
made my way to the table, supposing myself included in the 
call ; but I was scarcely seated, when there stepped up to me 
a young man, apparently much agitated, saying- : ' Sir, you 
must leave this table.' 'And why/ said I, 'must I leave 
this table ? ' 'I want no controversy with you. You must 
leave this table.' I replied, 'that I had regularly enrolled 
myself as a boarder in that house ; I expected to pay the same 
charges imposed upon others; and I came to the table in 
obedience to the call of the bell ; and if I left the table I must 
know the reason.' 1 We will serve you in your room. It is 
against our rules.' 1 You should have informed me of your rules 
earlier. Where are jour rules ? Let me see them.' 'I don't 
want any altercation with you. You must leave this table.' 
' But have I not deported myself as a gentleman ? Wliat have 
I done? Is there any gentleman who objects to my being 
seated here?' (There was silence round the table.) 'Come, 
sir, come, sir, you must leave this table at once.' ' Well, 
sir, I cannot leave it unless you will give me a better reason 
than you have done for my removal.' ' Well, I'll give you 
a reason if you'll leave the table and go to another room.' 
' That, sir, I will not do. You have invidiously selected me 
out of all this company, to be dragged from this table, and have 
thereby reflected upon me as a man and a gentleman ; and the 
reason for this treatment shall be as public as the insult you 
have offered.' At these remarks, my carrot-headed assailant 
left me, as he said, to get help to remove me from the table. 
Meanwhile I called upon one of the servants (who appeared to 
wait upon me with alacrity), to help me to a cup of coffee, and 
assisting myself to some of the good things before me, I quietly 
and thankfully partook of my morning meal without further 
annoyance." 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Ill 



Whatever may have been the duty of Mr. Douglass, (and 
none who know him can for a moment doubt what his inclina- 
tion would have been,) in case the proscriptive " rules of the 
house" had been previously made known to him, the justice, 
as well as the gentlemanly self-possession of his bearing, in 
relation to this public outrage, must, I think, be sufficiently 
obvious. 

% * * •* * * * 




112 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



THE HEROIC SLAVE-WOMAN. 

It was my privilege to see much of Edward S. Abdy, Esq., 
of England, during his visit to our country, in 1833 and 1834. 
The first time I met him was at the house of Mr. James Forten, 
of Philadelphia, in company with two other English g-entlemen, 
who had come to the United States, commissioned by the British 
Parliament to examine our systems of prison and penitentiary 
discipline. Mr. Abdy was interested in whatsoever affected the 
welfare of man. But he was more particularly devoted to the 
investigation of slavery. He travelled extensively in our 
Southern States, and contemplated with his own eyes the mani- 
fold abominations of our American despotism. He was too 
much exasperated by our tyranny to be enamoured of our 
democratic institutions; and on his return to England, he pub- 
lished two very sensible volumes, that were so little compli- 
mentary to our nation, that our booksellers thought it not worth 
their while to republish them. 

This warm-hearted philanthropist visited me several times 
at my home in Connecticut. The last afternoon that he was 
there, we were sitting together at my study window, when our 
attention was arrested by a very handsome carriage driving up 
to the hotel opposite my house. A gentleman and lady occupied 
the back seat ; and on the front were two children, tended by a 
black woman, who wore the turban that was then, more than 
now, usually worn by slave women. 

We hastened over to the hotel, and soon entered into conver- 
sation with the slave-holder. He was polite, but somewhat non- 
chalant, and defiant of our sympathy with his victim. He 
readily acknowledged, as slave-holders of that day generally 
did, that, abstractedly considered, the enslavement of fellow 
men was a great wrong ; but then he contended that it had 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



113 



become a necessary evil, necessary to the enslaved, no less than 
to the enslavers ; the former being unable to do without masters, 
as much as the latter were to do without servants. And he 
added, in a very confident tone, " you are at liberty to persuade 
our servant-woman to remain here, if you can." 

Thus challenged, we of course sought an interview with the 
slave ; and informed her that having been brought by her 
master into the free States, she was, by the laws of the land, set 
at liberty. " ]No, I am not, gentlemen,'' was her prompt reply. 
We adduced cases, and quoted authorities to establish our asser- 
tion that she was free. But she significantly shook her head, 
and still insisted that the examples and the legal decisions did 
not reach her case. u For," said she, " I promised mistress 
that I would go back with her and the children." Mr. Abdy 
undertook to argue with her that such a promise was not bind- 
ing. He had been drilled in the moral philosophy of Dr. 
Paley, and in that debate seemed to be possessed of its spirit. 
But he failed to make any visible impression upon the woman. 
She had bound herself by a promise to her mistress, that she 
would not leave her ; and that promise had fastened upon her 
conscience an obligation, from which she could not be persuaded 
that even her natural right to liberty could exonerate her. Mr. 
Abdy at last was impatient with her, and said, in his haste, " Is 
it possible that you do not wish to be free?" She replied with 
solemn earnestness, " Was there ever a slave that did not wish 
to be free ? I long for liberty. I will get out of slavey, if I 
can, the day after I have returned, but go back I must, because 
I irromised that I would." At this, we desisted from our endea- 
vour to induce her to take the boon that was, apparently to us, 
within her reach. We could not but feel a profound respect for 
that moral sensibility which would not allow her to embrace 
even her freedom, at the expense of violating a promise. 

The next morning, at an early hour, the slave-holder with 
his wife and children drove off, leaving the slave-woman and 
their heaviest trunk to be brought on after them in the stage- 
coach. We could not refrain from again trying to persuade her 
to remain and be free. We told her that her master had given 
us leave to persuade her if we could. She pointed to the trunk, 



114 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



and to a very valuable gold watch and chain, which her mistress 
had committed to her care, and insisted that fidelity to a trust 
was of more consequence to her soul even than the attainment 
of liberty. Mr. Abdy offered to take the trunk and watch into 
his charge, follow her master, and deliver them into his hands. 
But she could not be made to see that in this there would be no 
violation of her duty. And then her own person, that, too, she 
had promised should be returned to the home of her master; 
and much as she longed for liberty, she longed for a clear con- 
science more. 

Mr. Abdy was astonished, delighted at this instance of heroic 
virtue in a poor, ignorant slave. He packed his trunk, gave me 
a hearty adieu, and, when the coach drove up, he took his seat 
on the outside with the trunk and the slave — chattels of a 
Mississippi slave-holder — that he might study for a few hours 
more the morality of that strong-hearted woman, who could 
not be bribed to violate v her promise, even by the gift of liberty. 

It was the last time I saw Mr. Abdy, — and it was a sight 
to be remembered, — he, an accomplished English gentleman, a 
fellow of Oxford or Cambridge University, riding on the 
driver's box of a stage-coach, side by side w 7 ith an American 
slave-woman, that he might learn more of her history and 
character. 

" Full many a gem, of purest ray serene, 

The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear; 
Full many a flower is born to blushunseen, 
And waste its sweetness ou the desert air." 



Yours, respectfully, 




Syracuse, Oct. 9, 1852. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



115 



KOSSUTH. 

You ask me what I think of Kossuth. The history of 
Kossuth is but partly told. An opinion of him now, is, of course, 
I founded on the past and present. But so decisive have been 
j the manifestations in regard to his abilities and aims, that we 
may confidently say he is the great man of the age. I don't 
imean that there is no other man who is responsible for as great 
I or greater physical and intellectual endowments and education. 
We measure men by what they do, not by what they are able 
to do. He is great because he has manifested great thoughts 
and corresponding deeds. In this regard he has no superior. 

When I speak of Kossuth as great, I mean that the uivine 
elements of power, wisdom, and goodness are so mixed in him, 
as to qualify him to embrace the largest interests, and. attract 
jthe agencies to secure those interests. That his eye sees, and 
his heart feels, and his philanthropy embraces a larger area, and 
is acknowledged by a larger portion of the human family than 
any other living man. I do not say there are not men living 
whose hearts are as large, whose abilities are as great, and 
whose virtues are as exalted as Kossuth's. Men, too, whose 
great qualities under like contingencies would, and by future 
contingencies may, brighten into a glory as large as his. Nor 
would I say it does not often require as great, or even greater, 
talents and virtues to accomplish deeds of humanity or patriotism, 
' on a theatre vastly less dazzling and imposing. It is not neces- 
sary to my argument to exclude such conclusions. When God 
decrees great events, he brings upon the stage and qualifies the 
human instrumentah ties by which such events are accomplished; 
and that, too, at the very time they are needed. We don't know 
the future ; but if we are to measure the present and the past in 
the life of Kossuth, leaving alone the shadows which coming 

o 



116 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



events east in the path of our hopes, we must rank Kossuth with 
the greatest, and if we couple his heart with his deeds, with the 
best of mankind. 

I am aware that the opinion I here give of the great Magyar, 
is widely different from the opinions of some others for whom 
I have very high respect. Gerrit Smith honors Kossuth ; but he 
honors him only as a patriot, a Christian patriot. Professor 
Atler, of McGranville College, in an oration that does him credit 
a3 a philosopher and orator, says, that " he who thinks the 
largest thought is the ruler of the world," — and yet he dwarfs 
the character of Kossuth to the simple patriot of Hungary. To 
my mind, these are strange conclusions. It is the greatest 
thought illustrated by corresponding action that denotes the 
ruler of the world. It is the external manifestation of the 
mighty spiritual that demonstrates the right to rule mankind. 
Apply that rule to Kossuth, and I maintain his right to the 
sceptre of the world. 

The brotherhood of nations is an idea to which philanthropy 
only could give birth. Its home is in the hearts of all good men, 
and yet, until Kossuth came before the world, that idea had been 
esteemed so vast in its circumference, so out of the reach of 
means, so far beyond the grasp of present experience and pos- 
sibility, that he would have been thought a fanatic or a fool who 
attempted it. He, indeed, by power strictly personal, not only 
seized upon it as a practical thought, and nobly argued it, but 
has actually and bravely entered upon the experiment, and 
forced it upon the conceptions of the world, and organized, not 
in our country only, but in Europe, plans and parties for its 
realization. Here is not only a great thought, but a great deed. 
To gather up the philanthropic minds or the patriot minds of 
the world to embrace such an enterprise as net only a dutiful 
but practicable scheme, is an achievement that leaves out of 
sight any other achievement of eighteen hundred years. 

It is not the development of abstract principles in science, in 
philosophy, or in religion, that establishes the highest claim to 
the world's gratitude and admiration. It is the successful 
application of those principles to human life and conduct, the 
setting them to work to restore the world to the shape and 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



117 



aspect which God gave it, that demonstrates the God-like in 
man. It is the manifestation of a great idea upon the external, 
as God's great thoughts are manifested by the landscape, the 
ocean, and the heaven?, by which we arrive at the spiritual 
power that conceived them. A patriot indeed! The great 
Hungarian did attempt to link America to his great purpose by 
appeals to her patriotism. It was the only common sentiment 
between our country and him. It is America's loftiest thought, 
Her beau-ideal of public virtue. I don't mean that there was no 
Christianity or philanthropy in the United States when Kossuth 
came amongst us : but I do mean that, as a nation, we had 
none of them. He came on an errand of practical philanthropy ; 
to appeal to our national heart, and cause the only chord of 
humanity in it that could be touched, to vibrate in unison with 
his own in behalf of the down-trodden nations of the world. He 
wished to engage its organic power in behalf of national law. 
Had Kossuth appealed to any higher principle, he would have 
overshot his mark. Love of country is common to the Christian 
and to the mere patriot. In the latter it is only selfishness, in 
the former genuine philanthropy. American patriotism was 
the only aperture through which he could reach our nation's 
heart, to raise it to the higher region of philanthropy, and place 
it in his own bosom, and impregnate it with his own holy senti- 
ments, that their sympathies might circulate together for a 
common brotherhood. He represented Hungary. He appeared 
at our door as an outraged brother, to enlist us in behalf of a 
brother's rights and wrongs. He sought to excite in the nation's 
bosom the activity of a common principle, due at all times, and 
from nations no less than individuals. It is the core of Chris- 
tianity, described in these words, " do unto others as you would 
have others do unto you." 

Our Washington had told us " to cultivate peace with all 
nations, and foim entangling alliances with none.'' Our sensual 
and short-sighted statesmen construed the sentiment as the rule 
of active power. Instead of adopting it as Washington probably- 
intended it, as a rule of temporary policy, they inculcated the 
notion that we were to cut ourselves clear from the family of 
nations, and live only for ourselves. The large patriotism of 



118 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Waghtagtap they had shrunken to the merest selfishness. We 
may well thank God for the providence which sent Kossuth 
among- us, to relieve his fame from the suspicion of having 
begot, and our country from the sin of cherishing', so weak and 
dishonouring 1 a delusion. Heaven-assisted man only could have 
dreamed of believing* a nation so securely blinded. Like the 
prophet of God, whose hps were touched with celestial fire, he 
breathed upon the spell, and it vanished. The nations eyes were 
opened. It saw, and all true men admitted, that the sentiment 
was designed and adapted only to our infancy, and, to use his 
own figure, no more fitting* our manhood, than the clothes of an 
infant are fitting the full grown man. 

Now I admit we had philanthropists, wise men, orators, and 
some statesmen, who asserted the doctrine of the human brother- 
hood, yet we had no Kossuth to dissolve (if I may so speak) this 
Washing-toman delusion. Kossuth touched it and it disappeared. 
The nation seemed to have come to a new birth. Its heart, like 
the rock in the desert which was touched by the staff of the 
prophet opened, and its imprisoned waters poured over the 
world. We all felt as the bondman feels who is set free by a 
strong man. From that moment we grew larger, saw farther, 
and felt our hearts moving over an unlimited area of humanity. 
From that moment we felt that a new day was dawning. From 
that moment the principle of the human brotherhood struck its 
deep roots in our soil, as immovable as our mountains, as irradi- 
cable as our religion. Nor was it in America alone that this 
sentiment was then awakened. Touched by his notes, it trem- 
bled in the bosom of Europe. The heart of humanity throbbed 
with a common sympathy throughout the civilized world. 
Kossuth and Mazzini, crushed from beneath, ascended above the 
despotisms of the world in the clear upper sky, and, in sight of 
heaven and earth, reflected God's light and curse upon them ; 
and called into being the activities which we hope is to tumble 
them into a common ruin, a3 the precursor of the holy compact 
which shall secure all human rights. 

It is objected that Kossuth did not denounce our slavery. The 
same objection has equal strength ag-ainst the philanthropy of 
Paul and Jesus. I shall not dwell on this point. He did 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



119 



denounce American slavery. The presence of Kossuth was a 
killing* rebuke, his words a consuming* nre to it. The former is 
still felt as an incurable wound, and the latter still scorches to 
the very centre of its vitality. I have it from high authority, 
when Kossuth first came upon the soil, and into the atmosphere of 
American slavery, his soul was so shocked and disgusted by its 
offensiveness, that he proposed to abandon his mission in those 
States where it existed, and denounce it specifically ; and was 
only deterred from doing* so, by his sense of the more compre- 
hensive claims of that mission, which embraced the utter 
destruction of all human oppression. I drop this topic with the 
remark, that this objection, and all objections to his philanthropy 
within my knowledge, were made antecedent to his inimitable 
speech in Ts T ew York city, in behalf of his mother and sisters, a 
short time before he took his departure for Europe. If there is 
not Christianity, philanthropy, anti-slavery in that speech, we 
may despair of finding it in earth, or even in the heavens. I 
have never read anything so representative of heaven's mercy, 
or angel's eloquence, as that. Oh ! I wish the world knew it by 
heart. Methinks if it did, all wrong* and oppression would 
disappear from among* men. 

I was going to speak of the future, and of Mazzini, the twin 
apostle of liberty, whose exile was wrung from the heart of poor 
Italy. But the subject exceeds the brevity which must govern 
me. These rulers of the world are linked with the mighty 
events which are fast becoming history. From their hiding- 
places in London, they are moving and controlling the passions 
which seem ready to break forth and obliterate every cruel code 
under the sun, and hasten the time when all men shall feel as 
brethren, and mingle their hearts in anthems of gratitude and 
love. 




Syracuse, Nov. 14, 1852. 



120 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



THE HEEOIC SLAVE. 

PART I. 

Oh ! child of grief, why weepest thou ! 

"Why droops thy sad and mournful brow ? 
"Why is thy look so like despair ? 

What deep, sad sorrow lingers there ? 

The State of Virginia is famous in American annals for 
the multitudinous array of her statesmen and heroes. She 
has been dignified by some the mother of statesmen. History 
has not been sparing in recording their names, or in blazoning 
their deeds. Her high position in this respect, has given her 
an enviable distinction among her sister States. With 
Virginia for his birth-place, even a man of ordinary parts, on 
account of the general partiality for her sons, easily rises to 
eminent stations. Men, not great enough to attract special 
attention in their native States, have, like a certain distin- 
guished citizen in the State of New York, sighed and repined 
that they were not born in Virginia. Yet not all the great 
ones of the Old Dominion have, by the fact of their birth-place, 
escaped undeserved obscurity. By some strange neglect, one 
of the truest, manliest, and bravest of her children, — one 
who, in after years, will, I think, command the pen of genius 
to set his merits forth, holds now no higher place in the 
records of that grand old Commonwealth than is held by a 
horse or an ox. Let those account for it who can, but there 
stands the fact, that a man who loved liberty as well as did 
Patrick Henry, — who deserved it as much as Thomas Jeffer- 
son, — and who fought for it with a valour as high, an arm as 
strong, and against odds as great, as he who led all the armies 
of the American colonies through the great war for freedom 
and independence, lives now only in the chattel records of Iris 
native State. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Glimpses of this great character are all that can now be 
presented. He is brought to view only by a few transient 
incidents, and these afford but partial satisfaction. Like a 
guiding star on a stormy night, he is seen through the parted 
clouds and the howling tempests ; or, like the gray peak of a 
menacing rock on a perilous coast, he is seen by the quivering 
flash of angry lightning, and he again disappears covered 
with mystery. 

Curiously, earnestly, anxiously we peer into the dark, and 
wish even for the blinding flash, or the light of northern skies 
to reveal him. But, alas ! he is still enveloped in darkness, 
and we return from the pursuit like a wearied and dis- 
heartened mother, (after a tedious and unsuccessful search for 
a lost child,) who returns weighed down with disappointment 
and sorrow. Speaking of marks, traces, possibles, and proba- 
bilities, we come before our readers. 

In the spring of 1835, on a Sabbath morning, within hear- 
ing of the solemn peals of the church bells at a distant village, 
a northern traveller through the State of Virginia drew up 
his horse to drink at a sparkling brook, near the edge of a 
dark pine forest. While his weary and thirsty steed drew in 
the grateful water, the rider caught the sound of a human 
voice, apparently engaged in earnest conversation. 

Following the direction of the sound, he descried, among 
the tall pines, the man whose voice had arrested his attention. 
" To whom can he be speaking ]" thought the traveller. " He 
seems to be alone." The circumstance interested him much, 
and he became intensely curious to know what thoughts and 
feelings, or, it might be, high aspirations, guided those rich 
and mellow accents. Tying his horse at a short distance 
from the brook, he stealthily drew near the solitary speaker, 
and concealing himself by the side of a huge fallen tree, he 
distinctly heard the following soliloquy : — 

M What, then, is life to me ? it is aimless and worthless, and 
and worse than worthless. Those birds, perched on yon 
swinging boughs, in friendly conclave, sounding forth their 
merry notes in seeming worship of the rising sun, though liable 
to the sportsman's fowling-piece, are still my superiors. They 



122 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



live free, though they may die slaves. They fly where they 
list by day, and retire in freedom at night. But what is free- 
dom to me, or I to it 1 I am a slave, — born a slave, an abject 
slave, — even before I made part of this breathing world, the 
scourge was platted for my back ; the fetters were forged for 
my limbs. How mean a thing am I. That accursed and 
crawling snake, that miserable reptile, that has just glided 
into its slimy home, is freer and better off than I. He escaped 
my blow, and is safe, But here am I, a man, — yes, a man ! — 
with thoughts and wishes, with powers and faculties as far as 
angel's flight above that hated reptile, — yet he is my superior, 
and scorns to own me as his master, or to stop to take my 
blows. When he saw my uplifted arm, he darted beyond my 
reach, and turned to give me battle. I dare not do as much 
as that. I neither run nor fight, but do meanly stand, 
answering each heavy blow of a cruel master with doleful 
wails and piteous cries. I am galled with irons ; but even 
these are more tolerable than the consciousness, the galling 
consciousness of cowardice and indecision. Can it be that I 
dare not run away I Perish the thought, I dare do any thing 
which may be done by another. When that young man 
struggled with the waves for life, and others stood back 
appalled in helpless horror, did I not plunge in, forgetful of 
life, to save his ? The raging bull from whom all others fled, 
pale with fright, did I not keep at bay with a single pitch- 
fork ? Could a coward do that ? No, — no, — I wrong myself, 
— I am no coward. Liberty I will have, or die in the attempt 
to gain it. This working that others may live in idleness ! 
This cringing submission to insolence and curses ! This living 
under the constant dread and apprehension of being sold and 
transferred, like a mere brute, is too much for me. I will 
stand it no longer. What others have done, I will do. These 
trusty legs, or these sinewy arms shall place me among the 
free. Tom escaped ; so can I. The North Star will not be 
less kind to me than to him. I will follow it. I will at least 
make the trial. I have nothing to lose. If I am caught, I 
shall only be a slave. If I am shot, I shall only lose a life 
which is a burden and a curse. If I get clear, (as something 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



123 



tells me I shall,) liberty, the inalienable birth-right of every 
man, precious and priceless, will be mine. My resolution is 
fixed. 1 shall be free? 

At these words the traveller raised his head cautiously and 
noiselessly, and caught, from his hiding-place, a full view of 
the unsuspecting speaker. Madison (for that was the name 
of our hero) was standing erect, a smile of satisfaction rippled 
upon his expressive countenance, like that which plays upon 
the face of one who has but just solved a difficult problem, or 
vanquished a malignant foe ; for at that moment he was free, 
at least in spirit. The future gleamed brightly before him. 
and his fetters lay broken at his feet. His air was tri- 
umphant. 

Madison was of manly form. Tall, symmetrical, round, and 
strong. In his movements he seemed to combine, with the 
strength of the lion, a lion's elasticity. His torn sleeves dis- 
closed arms like polished iron. His face was u black, but 
comely." His eye, lit with emotion, kept guard under a brow 
as dark and as glossy as the raven's wing. His whole 
appearance betokened Herculean strength ; yet there was 
nothing savage or forbidding in his aspect. A child might 
play in his arms, or dance on his shoulders. A giant's 
strength, but not a giant's heart was in Ir r n. His broad 
mouth and nose spoke only of good nature and kindness. 
But his voice, that unfailing index of the soul, though full 
and melodious, had that in it which could terrify as well as 
charm. He was just the man you would choose when hard- 
ships were to be endured, or danger to be encountered, — 
intelligent and brave. He had a head to conceive, and the 
hand to execute. In a word, he was one to be sought as 
a friend, but to be dreaded as an enemy. 

As our traveller gazed upon him, he almost trembled at 
the thought of his dangerous intrusion. Still he could not 
quit the place. He had long desired to sound the mysterious 
depths of the thoughts and feelings of a slave. He was not 
therefore, disposed to allow so providential an opportunity to 
pass unimproved. He resolved to hear more ; so he listened 
again for those mellow and mournful accents which, he says 



124 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



made such an impression upon him as can never be erased. 
He did not have to wait long. There came another gush 
from the same full fountain ; now bitter, and now sweet, i 
Scathing denunciations of the cruelty and injustice of slavery ; i 
heart-touching narrations of his own personal suffering, inter- \\ 
mingled with prayers to the God of the oppressed for help 
and deliverance, were followed by presentations of the dangers i 
and difficulties of escape, and formed the burden of his i 
eloquent utterances ; but his high resolution clung to him, — 
for he ended each speech by an emphatic declaration of his 
purpose to be free. It seemed that the very repetition of this, 
imparted a glow to his countenance. The hope of freedom 
seemed to sweeten, for a season, the bitter cup of slavery, and 
to make it, for a time, tolerable ; for when in the very whirl- 
wind of anguish, — when his heart's cord seemed screwed up 
to snapping tension, hope sprung up and soothed his troubled 
spirit. Fitfully he would exclaim, " How can I leave her ? 
Poor thing ! what can she do when I am gone I Oh ! oh ! 'tis 
impossible that I can leave poor Susan !" 

A brief pause intervened. Oar traveller raised his head, 
and saw again the sorrow-stricken slave. His eye was fixed 
upon the ground. The strong man staggered under a heavy 
load. Becoveriug himself, he argued thus aloud ■ " All is 
uncertain here. To-morrow's sun may not rise before I am 
sold, and separated from her I love. What, then, could I do 
for her ? I should be in more hopeless slavery, and she no 
nearer to liberty, — whereas if I were free, — my arms my own, 
I might devise the means to rescue her." 

This said, Madison cast around a searching glance, as if 
the thought of being overheard had flashed across his mind. 
He said no more, but, with measured steps, walked away, and 
was lost to the eye of our traveller amidst the wildering 
woods. 

Long after Madison had left the ground, Mr. Listwell (our 
traveller) remained in motionless silence, meditating on the 
extraordinary revelations to which he had listened. He 
seemed fastened to the spot, and stood half hoping, half fear- 
ing the return of the sable preacher to his solitary temple. 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



125 



The speech of Madison rung through the chambers of his 
soul, and vibrated through his entire frame. " Here is indeed 
a man," thought he, "of rare endowments,— a child of God, — 
guilty of no crime but the colour of his skin — hiding away 
from the face of humanity, and pouring out his thoughts and 
feelings, his hopes and resolutions to the lonely woods ; to 
him those distant church bells have no grateful music. He 
shuns the church, the altar, and the great congregation of the 
Christian worshippers, and wanders away to the gloomy 
forest, to utter in the vacant air complaints and griefs, which 
the religion of his times and his country can neither console 
nor relieve. Goaded almost to madness by the sense of the 
injustice done him, he resorts hither to give vent to his 
pent-up feelings, and to debate with himself the feasibility 
of plans, plans of his own invention, for his own deli- 
verance. From this hour I am an abolitionist. I have 
seen enough and heard enough, and I shall go to my home in 
Ohio resolved to atone for my past indifference to this ill- 
starred race, by making such exertions as I shall be able to 
do, for the speedy emancipation of every slave in the land. 



126 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



PAET II. 

"The gaudy, blabbing and remorseful day 
Is crept into the bosom of the sea ; 
And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades 
That drag the tragic melancholy night ; 
Who with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings 
Clip dead men's graves, and from their misty jaws 
Breathe foul contagions, darkness in the air." 

SJiakspeare. 

Five years after the foregoing singular occurrence, in the 
winter of 1840, Mr. and Mrs. Listwell sat together by the 
fireside of their own happy home, in the State of Ohio. The 
children were all gone to bed. A single lamp burned brightly 
on the centre-table. All was still and comfortable within ; 
but the night was cold and dark ; a heavy wind sighed and 
moaned sorrowfully around the house and barn, occasionally 
bringing against the clattering windows a stray leaf from the 
large oak trees that embowered their dwelling. It was a 
night for strange noises and for strange fancies. A whole 
wilderness of thought might pass through one's mind during 
such an evening. The smouldering embers, partaking of the 
spirit of the restless night, became fruitful of varied and 
fantastic pictures, and revived many bygone scenes and old 
impressions. The happy pair seemed to sit in silent fascina- 
tion, gazing on the fire. Suddenly this reverie was inter- 
rupted by a heavy growl. Ordinarily such an occurrence 
would have scarcely provoked a single word, or excited the 
least apprehension. But there are certain seasons when the 
slightest sound sends a jar through all the subtle chambers 
of the mind ; and such a season was this. The happy pair 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



127 



started up, as if some sudden danger had come upon them. 
The growl was from their trusty watch-dog. 
1 a What can it mean ? certainly no one can be out on such a 
night as this," said Mrs. Listwell. 

I " The wind has deceived the dog, my dear ; he has mis- 
taken the noise of falling branches, brought down by the 
wind, for that of the footsteps of persons coming to the house. 

I I have several times to-night thought that I heard the sound 
of footsteps. I am sure, however, that it was but the wind, 
i Friends would not be likely to come out at such an hour, or 
;such a night ; and thieves are too lazy and self-indulgent to 
expose themselves to this biting frost ; but should there be 
any one about, our brave old Monte, who is on the look-out, 
I will not be slow in sounding the alarm." 

i Saying this they quietly left the window, whither they 
had gone to learn the cause of the menacing growl, and 
re- seated themselves by the fire, as if reluctant to leave the 
slowly expiring embers, although the hour was late. A few 
minutes only intervened after resuming their seats, when 
again their sober meditations were disturbed. Their faithful 
dog now growled and barked furiously, as if assailed by an 
I advancing foe. Simultaneously the good couple arose, and 
stood in mute expectation. The contest without seemed 
fierce and violent. It was, however, soon over, — the barking 
: ceased, for, with true canine instinct, Monte soon discovered 
ithat a friend, not an enemy of the family, was coming to the 
! house, and instead of rushing to repel the supposed iDtruder, 
he was now at the door, whimpering and dancing for the 
j admission of himself and his newly-made friend. 

Mr. Listwell knew by this movement that all was well ; 
he advanced and opened the door, and saw by the light that 
streamed out into the darkness, a tall man advancing slowly 
towards the house, with a stick in one hand, and a small 
bundle in the other. " It is a traveller," thought he, " who 
has missed his way, and is coming to inquire the road. I am 
glad we did not go to bed earlier, — I have felt all the evening 
as if somebody would be here to-night." 

The man had now halted a short distance from the door, 



128 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



and looked prepared alike for flight or battle. " Come in, 
sir, don't be alarmed, you have probably lost your way." 

Slightly hesitating, the traveller walked in ; not, however, 
without regarding his host with a scrutinizing glance. " No, 
sir," said he, u I have come to ask you a greater favour." 

Instantly Mr. Listwell exclaimed, (as the recollection of 
the Virginia forest scene flashed upon him,) u Oh, sir, I know 
not your name, but I have seen your face, and heard your 
voice before. I am glad to see you. I know all. You are 
flying for your liberty, — be seated, — be seated, — banish all 
fear. You are safe under my roof." 

This recognition, so unexpected, rather disconcerted and 
disquieted the noble fugitive. The timidity and suspicion of 
persons escaping from slavery are easily awakened, and often 
what is intended to dispel the one, and to allay the other, has 
precisely the opposite effect. It was so in this case. Quickly 
observing the unhappy impression made by his words and 
action, Mr. Listwell assumed a more quiet and inquiring 
aspect, and finally succeeded in removing the apprehensions 
which his very natural and generous salutation had aroused. 

Thus assured, the stranger said, " Sir, you have rightly 
guessed, I am, indeed, a fugitive from slavery. My name is 
Madison, — Madison Washington, my mother used to call me. 
I am on my way to Canada, where I learn that persons of my 
colour are protected in all the rights of men ; and my object 
in calling upon you was, to beg the privilege of resting my 
weary limbs for the night in your barn. It was my purpose 
to have continued my journey till morning ; but the piercing 
cold, and the frowning darkness compelled me to seek 
shelter ; anc^ seeing a light through the lattice of your win- 
dow, I was encouraged to come here to beg the privilege 
named. You will do me a great favour by affording me 
shelter for the night." 

" A resting-place, indeed, sir, you shall have ; not, however, 
in my barn, but in the best room of my house. Consider 
yourself, if you please, under the roof of a friend ; for such I 
am to you, and to all your deeply injured race." 

While this introductory conversation was going on, the kind 



Autographs for freedom. 



129 



lady liad revived the fire, and was diligently preparing supper ; 
for she, not less than her husband, felt for the sorrows of the 
oppressed and hunted ones of the earth, and was always glad 
of an opportunity to do them a service. A bountiful repast 
was quickly prepared, and the hungry and toil-worn bond- 
man, was cordially invited to partake thereof. Gratefully he 
acknowledged the favour of his benevolent benefactress : but 
appeared scarcely to understand what such hospitality could 
mean. It was the first time in his life that he had met so 
humane and friendly a greeting at the hands of persons whose 
colour was unlike his own ; yet it was impossible for him to 
doubt the charitableness of his new friends, or the genuine- 
ness of the welcome so freely given ; and he therefore, with 
many thanks, took his seat at the table with Mr. and Mrs. 
Listwell, who, desirous to make him feel at home, took a cup 
of tea themselves, while urging upon Maxlison the best that 
the house could afford. 

Supper over, all doubts and apprehensions banished, the 
three drew around the blazing fire, and a conversation com- 
menced which lasted till long after midnight. 

" Now," said Madison to Mr. Listwell, " I was a little sur- 
prised and alarmed when I came in, by what you said ; do tell 
me, sir, why you thought you had seen my face before, and by 
what you knew me to be a fugitive from slavery ; for I am 
sure that I never was before in this neighbourhood, and I 
certainly sought to conceal what I supposed to be the manner 
of a fugitive slave." 

Mr. Listwell at once frankly disclosed the secret ; describing 
the place where he first saw him ; rehearsing the language 
which he (Madison) had used ; referring to the effect which 
his manner and speech had made upon him ; declaring the 
resolution he there formed to be an abolitionist ; telling how 
often he had spoken of the circumstance, and the deep concern 
he had ever since felt to know what had become of him ; and 
whether he had carried out the purpose to make his escape, as 
in the woods he declared he would do. 

" Ever since that morning," said Mr. Listwell, " you have 
seldom been absent from my mind, and though now I did 

i 



130 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



not dare to hope that I should ever see you again, I have often 
wished that such might be my fortune : for. from that hour, 
your face seemed to be daguerreotyped on my memory." 

Madison looked quite astonished, and felt amazed at the I 
narration to which he had listened. After recovering himself 
he said, " I well remember that morning, and the bitter 
anguish that wrung my heart ; I will state the occasion of it. 
I had, on the previous Saturday, suffered a cruel lashing; had 
been tied up to the limb of a tree, with my feet chained to- 
gether, and a heavy iron bar placed between my ankles. Thus 
suspended, I received on my naked back forty stripes, and was 
kept in this distressing position three or four hours, and was 
then let down, only to have my torture increased ; for my 
bleeding back, gashed by the cow-skin, was washed by the 
overseer with old brine, partly to augment my suffering, and 
partly, as he said, to prevent inflammation. My crime was 
that I stayed longer at the mill, the day previous, than it was 
thought I ought to have done, which, I assured my master 
and the overseer, was no fault of mine ; but no excuses were 
allowed. 1 Hold your tongue, you impudent rascal,' met my 
every explanation. Slave-holders are so imperious when their 
passions are excited, as to construe every word of the slave 
into insolence. I could do nothing but submit to the agonizing 
infliction. Smarting still from the wounds, as w r ell as from 
the consciousness of being" w T hipt for no cause, I took advan- 
tage of the absence of my master, who had gone to church, to 
spend the time in the woods, and brood over my wretched lot. 
Oh, sir, I remember it well, — and can never forget it." 

" But this was five years ago ; where have you been since ?" I 
" I will try to tell you," said Madison. " Just four weeks 
after that Sabbath morning, I gathered up the few ragsj 
of clothing I had, and started, as I supposed, for the North 
and for freedom. I must not stop to describe my feelings on 
taking this step. It seemed like taking a leap into the dark. 
The thought of leaving my poor wife and two little children 
caused me indescribable anguish ; but consoling myself with 
the reflection that once free, I could, possibly, devise ways and 
means to gain their freedom also, I nerved myself up to make 



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131 



i the attempt. I started, but ill-luck attended me ; for after 
being out a whole week, strange to say, I still found myself on 
my master's grounds ; the third night after being out, a season 
of clouds and rain set in, wholly preventing me from seeing 

! the North Star, which 1 had trusted as my guide, not dream- 
ing that clouds might intervene between us. 

" This circumstance was fatal to my project, for in losing 

; my star, I lost my way; so when I supposed I was far towards 
the North, and had almost gained my freedom, I discovered 

i myself at the very point from which I had started. It was a 
severe trial, for I arrived at home in great destitution ; my 
feet were sore, and in travelling in the dark, I had dashed my 
foot against a stump, and started a nail, and lamed myself. I 
was wet and cold ; one week had exhausted all my stores ; and 
when I landed on my master's plantation, with all my work 
to do over again, — hungry, tired, lame, and bewildered, — 
I almost cursed the day that I was born. In this extremity I 
approached the quarters. I did so stealthily, although in my 
desperation I hardly cared whether I w r as discovered or not. 
Peeping through the rents of the quarters, I saw my fellow- 
slaves seated by a warm fire, merrily passing away the time, 
as though their hearts knew no sorrow. Although I envied 
their seeming contentment, all wretched as I was, I despised 
the cowardly acquiescence in their own degradation which it 
implied, and felt a kind of pride and glory in my own des- 
perate lot. I dared not enter the quarters, — for where there 
is seeming contentment with slavery, there is certain treachery 
to freedom. I proceeded towards the great house, in the hope 
of catching a glimpse of my poor wife, whom I knew might be 
trusted with my secrets even on the scaffold. Just as I reached 
the fence which divided the field from the garden, I saw a 
woman in the yard, who in the darkness I took to be my wife ; 
but a nearer approach told me it was not she. I was about to 
speak ; had I done so, I would not have been here this night ; 
for an alarm would have been sounded, and the hunters been 
put on my track. Here were hunger, cold, thirst, disappoint- 
ment, and chagrin, confronted only by the dim hope of liberty. 
I tremble to think of that dreadful hour. To face the deadly 



132 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



cannon's month in warm blood un terrified, is, I think, a small 
achievement, compared with a conflict like this with gaunt 
starvation. The gnawings of hunger conquers by degrees, till 
all that a man has he would give in exchange for a single 
crust of bread. Thank God, I was not quite reduced to this 
extremity. 

" Happily for me, before the fatal moment of utter despair, 
my good wife made her appearance in the yard. It was she ; I 
knew her step. All was well now. I was, however, afraid to 
speak, lest I should frighten her. Yet speak I did ; and, to 
my great joy, my voice was known. Our meeting can be more 
easily imagined than described. For a time hunger, thirst, 
weariness, and lameness were forgotten. But it was soon 
necessary for her to return to the house. She being a house- 
servant, her absence from the kitchen, if discovered, might 
have excited suspicion. Our parting was like tearing the flesh 
from my bones ; yet it was the part of wisdom for her to go. 
She left me with the purpose of meeting me at midnight in 
the very forest where you last saw me. She knew the place 
well, as one of my melancholy resorts, and could easily find it, 
though the night was dark. 

* I hastened away, therefore, and concealed myself, to await 
the arrival of my good angel. As I lay there among the 
leaves, I was strongly tempted to return again to the house of 
my master and give myself up ; but remembering my solemn 
pledge on that memorable Sunday morning, I was able to 
linger out the two long hours between ten and midnight. I 
may well call them long hours. I have endured much hard- 
ship ; I have encountered many perils ; but the anxiety of 
those two hours, was the bitterest I ever experienced. True 
to her word, my wife came laden with provisions, and Ave sat 
down on the side of a log, at that dark and lonesome hour of 
the night. I cannot say we talked ; our feelings were too great 
for that; yet we came to an understanding that I should 
make the woods my home, for if I gave myself up, I should be 
whipped and sold away ; and if I started for the North, I 
should leave a wife doubly dear to me. AVe mutually deter- 
mined, therefore, that I should remain in the vicinity. In the 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



133 



dismal swamps I lived, sir, five long years, — a cave for my 
home during the day. I wandered about at night with the 
j wolf and the bear, — sustained by the promise that my good 
I Susan would meet me in the pine woods at least once a week. 
I This promise was redeemed, I assure you, to the letter, greatly 
I to my relief. I had partly became contented with my mode of 
j life, and had made up my mind to spend my days there ; but 
: the wilderness that sheltered me thus long took fire, and re- 
| fused longer to be my hiding-place. 

" I "will not harrow up your feelings by "portraying the 
terrific scene of this awful conflagration. There is nothing 
to which I can liken it. It was horribly and indescribably 
grand. The whole world seemed on fire, and it appeared to 
me that the day of judgment had come ; that the burning 
bowels of the earth had burst forth, and that the end of all 
things was at hand. Bears and wolves, scorched from their 
mysterious hiding-places in the earth, and all the wild in- 
habitants of the untrodden forest, filled with a common dis- 
may, ran forth, yelling, howling, bewildered amidst the 
smoke and flame. The very heavens seemed to rain down 
fire through the towering trees ; it was by the merest chance 
that I escaped the ^devouring element. Running before it, 
and stopping occasionally to take breath, I looked back to 
behold its frightful ravages, and to drink in its sav&ge mag- 
nificence. It was awful, thrilling, solemn, beyond compare. 
When aided by the fitful wind, the merciless tempest of fire 
swept on, sparkling, creaking, cracking, curling, roaring, out- 
doing in its dreadful splendour a thousand thunderstorms at 
once. From tree to tree it leaped, swallowing them up in its 
lurid, baleful glare ; and leaving them leafless, limbless, 
charred, and lifeless behind. The scene was overwhelming, 
stunning,— nothing was spared,— cattle, tame and wild, herds 
of swine and of deer, wild beasts of every name and kind, — 
huge night-birds, bats, and owls, that had retired to their 
homes in lofty tree-tops to rest, perished in that fiery storm. 
The long-winged buzzard and croaking raven mingled their 
dismal cries with those of the countless myriads of small birds 
that rose up to the skies, and were lost to the sight in clouds 



134 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



of smoke and flame. Oh, I shudder when I think of it ! Many f 
a poor wandering fugitive who, like myself, had sought among t 
wild beasts the mercy denied by our fellow men, saw, in help- r * 
less consternation, his dwelling-place and city of refuge re- p 
duced to ashes for ever. It was this grand conflagration that \ > 
drove me hither ; I ran alike from fire and from slavery." 

After a slight pause, (for both speaker and hearers were \ j< 
deeply moved by the above recital,) Mr. Listwell, addressing $ 
Madison, said, " If it does not weary you too much, do tell J- 
us something of your journeyings since this disastrous burn- ; b 
ing, — we are deeply interested in everything which can throw \ 
light on the hardships of persons escaping from slavery ; we ] 
could hear you talk all night ; are there no incidents that you I 
could relate of your travels hither ] or are they such that you J c 
do not like to mention them !" 

" For the most part, sir, my course has been uninterrupted ; - 8 
and, considering the circumstances, at times even pleasant. I ] 
have suffered little for want of food ; but I need not tell you ' i 
how I got it. Your moral code may differ from mine, as your 1 ] 
customs and usages are different. The fact is, sir, during my *i > 
flight, I felt myself robbed by society of all my just rights ; 1 j 
that I was in an enemy's land, who sought both my life and | 
my liberty. They had transformed me into a brute ; made 1 
merchandise of my body, and, for all the purposes of my flight,. J , 
turned day into night, — and guided by my own necessities, * 
and in contempt of their conventionalities, I did not scruple to 1 
take bread where I could get it." 

" And just there you were right," said Mr. Listwell ; u I I 
once had doubts on this point myself, but a conversation with J 
Gerrit Smith, 1 (a man, by the way, that I wish you could 
see, for he is a devoted friend of your race, and I know he 1 
would receive you gladly,) put an end to all my doubts on 1 
this point. But do not let me interrupt you." 

" I had but one narrow escape during my whole journey," ' 
said Madison. 

" Do let us hear of it," said Mr. Listwell. 

" Two weeks ago," continued Madison, " after travelling all 
night, I was overtaken by daybreak, in what seemed to me an I 




AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 13 ° 

^S^ ^StZT** a bushy top, and found one 
SP ?1 mv m nd Up I climbed, and biding myself as well as 
RSSS , «. P «trap,(P^ one out of his old coa - 
LXt) lashed myself to a bough, and flattered myself tha 
W sleep that day ; but in tins I was 

FZuXve done those of wild beasts. I was at a loss to 
I should have oo , cended x shou ld probably be dis- 

and dangers have been the accompaniments of my hie ; and 
h^ve perhaps, imparted to me a certain hardness of character^ 
ISosl extent, adapts me to them In .my present 
idickment, I decided to hold my place in the tree-top, and 
££* • nsequences. But here 1 must disappoint you; 
for the men, who were all coloured, halted at least a hundred 
M Tom me, and began with their axes, m right good 
earnest to attack the trees. The sound of their axes was hhe 
, to repo t of as many well-charged pistols. By-and-by toere 
came down at least a dozen trees with a ternb e crash They 
Zed upon the fallen trees with an air of victory. I could 
see no do- with them, and felt comparatively safe, though I 
could ntforget the possibility that some freak or 
SS a little nearer my dwellingthan comported with 

was no sleep for me that, day, and I wished for 
.ight. You may imagine that the thought of having ; the «e 
attacked under me was far from agreeable, and that it very 
eaSy kept me on the look-out. The day was not without 
diversion The men at work seemed to be a gay set ; and 
toey would often make the woods resound with that nncon- 
trolledlanghterforwhichwe,as a race, are remarkable I 
held my place in the tree till sunset -saw the men put on 



136 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



their jackets to be off. I observed that all left the ground 
except one, whom I saw sitting on the side of a stump, with 
his head bowed, and his eyes apparently fixed on the ground. 
I became interested in him. After sitting in the position to 
which I have alluded ten or fifteen minutes, he left the stump, 
Walked directly towards the tree in which I was secreted, and 
halted almost under the same. He stood for a moment and 
looked around, deliberately and reverently took off his hat, 
by which I saw that he was a man in the evening of life, 
slightly bald and quite gray. After laying down his hat care- 
fully, he knelt and prayed aloud, and such a prayer, the most 
fervent, earnest, and solemn, to which I think I ever listened. 
After reverently addressing the Almighty, as the all-wise, all- 
good, and the common Father of all mankind, he besought 
God for grace, for strength, to bear up under, and to endure, 
as a good soldier, all the hardships and trials which beset the 
journey of life, and to enable him to live in a manner which 
accorded with the gospel of Christ. His soul now broke out 
in humble supplication for deliverance from bondage. ' O thou,' 
said he, ' that hearest the raven's cry, take pity on poor me ! 
O deliver me ! deliver me ! in mercy, God, deliver me 
from the chains and manifold hardships of slavery ! With 
thee, Father, all things are possible. Thou canst stand and 
measure the earth. Thou hast beheld and drove asunder the 
nations, — all power is in thy hand, — thou didst say of old, " I 
have seen the affliction of my people, and am come to deliver 
them," — O look down upon our afflictions, and have mercy 
upon us.' But I cannot repeat his prayer, nor can I give you 
an idea of its deep pathos. I had given but little attention 
to religion, and had but little faith in it ; yet, as the old man 
prayed, I felt almost like coming down and kneel by his side, 
and mingle my broken complaint with his. 

" He had already gained my confidence ; as how could it 
be otherwise ? I knew enough of religion to know that the 
man who prays in secret is far more likely to be sincere than 
he who loves to pray standing in the street, or in the great 
congregation. When he arose from his knees, like another 
Zaccheus, I came down from the tree. He seemed a little 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



137 



alarmed at first, but I told him my story, and the good 
| man embraced me in his arms, and assured me of his sym- 
pathy. 

u I was now about out of provisions, and thought I might 
safely ask him to help me replenish my store. He said he 
had no money ; but if he had, he would freely give it me. 
I told him I had one dollar ; it was all the money I had in 
the world. I gave it to him, and asked him to purchase 
some crackers and cheese, and to kindly bring me the 
: balance ; that I would remain in or near that place, and 
woidd come to him on his return, if he would whistle. He 
was gone only about an hour. Meanwhile, from some cause 
or other, I know not what (but as you shall see very wisely), 
I changed my place. On his return I started to meet him ; 
but it seemed as if the shadow of approaching danger fell 
upon my spirit, and checked my progress. In a very few 
minutes, closely on the heels of the old man, I distinctly saw 
fourteen men, with something like guns in their hands." 

" Oh ! the old wretch ! " exclaimed Mrs. Listwell, " he had 
betrayed you, had he ? " 

" I think not," said Madison, " I cannot believe that the 
old man was to blame. He probably went into a store, asked 
for the articles for which I sent, and presented the bill I gave 
him ; and it is so unusual for slaves in the country to have 
money, that fact, doubtless, excited suspicion, and gave rise to 
inquiry. I can easily believe that the truthfulness of the old 
man's character compelled him to disclose the facts ; and thus 
were these blood-thirsty men put on my track. Of course I 
did not present myself ; but hugged my hiding-place securely. 
If discovered and attacked, I resolved to sell my life as dearly 
as possible. 

iC After searching about the woods silently for a time, the 
whole company gathered around the old man; one charged 
him with lying, and called him an old villain ; said he was a 
thief charged him with stealing money ; said if he did not 
instantly tell where he got it, they would take the shirt from 
his old back, and give him thirty-nine lashes. 

u 4 1 did not steal the money, said the old man, c it was 



138 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



given me, as I told you at the store ; and if the man who gave 

it me is not here, it is not my fault.' 

" ( Hush ! you lying old rascal ; we'll make you smart for 
it. You shall not leave this spot until you have told where 
you got that money.' 

" They now took hold of him, and began to strip him ; 
while others went to get sticks with which to beat him. I 
felt, at the moment, like rushing out in the midst of them ; 
but considering that the old man would be whipped the more 
for having aided a fugitive slave, and that, perhaps, in the 
melee he might be killed outright, I disobeyed this impulse. 
They tied him to a tree, and began to whip him. My own 
flesh crept at every blow, and I seem to hear the old man's 
piteous cries even now. They laid thirty-nine lashes on 
his bare back, and were going to repeat that number, when 
one of the company besought his comrades to desist. ■ You'll 
kill the d — d old scoundrel ! You've already whipt a dollar's 
worth out of him, even if he stole it ! ' c O yes,' said another, 
% let him dawn. He'll never tell us another lie, I'll warrant 
ye ! * With this, one of the company untied the old man, and 
bid him go about his business. 

The old man left, but the company remained as much as 
an hour, scouring the woods. Round and round they went, 
turning up the underbrush, and peering about like so many 
bloodhounds. Two or three times they came within six feet 
of where I lay. I tell you I held my stick with a firmer 
grasp than I did in coming up to your house to-night. I 
expected to level one of them at least. Fortunately, how- 
ever, I eluded their pursuit, and they left me alone in the 
woods. 

" My Last dollar was now gone, and you may well suppose 
I felt the loss of it ; but the thought of being once again free 
to pursue my journey, prevented that depression which a 
sense of destitution causes so swinging my little bundle on 
my back, I caught a glimpse of the Great Bear (which ever 
points the way to my beloved star), and I started again on 
my journey. What I lost in money I made up at a hen-roost 
that same night, upon which I fortunately came." 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



139 



u But you didn't eat your food raw ? How did you cook 
it 1 " said Mrs. Listwell. 

" O no, Madam," said Madison, turning to his little bundle ; 
— " I had the means of cooking." Here he took out of his 
bundle an old-fashioned tincler-box, and taking up a piece of 
a file, which he brought with him, he struck it with a heavy 
flint, and brought out at least a dozen sparks at once. " I 
have had this old box," said he, ct more than five years. It is 
the only property saved from the fire in the dismal swamp. 
It has done me good service. It has given me the means of 
broiling many a chicken ! " 

It seemed quite a relief to Mrs. Listwell to know that 
Madison had, at least, lived upon cooked food. Women have 
a perfect horror of eating uncooked food. 

By this time thoughts of what was best to be done about 
getting Madison to Canada, began to trouble Mr. Listwell ; 
for the laws of Ohio were very stringent against any one who 
who should aid, or who were found aiding a slave to escape 
through that State. A citizen, for the simple act of taking 
a fugitive slave in his carriage, had just been stripped of all 
his property, and thrown penniless upon the world. Not- 
withstanding this, Mr. Listwell was determined to see 
Madison safely on his way to Canada. " Give yourself no 
uneasiness," said he to Madison, " for if it cost my farm, I shall 
see you safely out of the States, and on your way to a land of 
liberty. Thank God that there is such a land so near us ! 
You will spend to-morrow with us, and to-morrow night I 
will take you in my carriage to the Lake, Once upon that, 
and you are safe." 

"Thank you ! thank you/' said the fugitive ; " I will com- 
mit myself to your care." 

For the first time during five years, Madison enjoyed the 
luxury of resting his limbs on a comfortable bed, and inside 
a human habitation. Looking at the white sheets, he said to 
Mr. Listwell, " What, sir ! you don't mean that I shall sleep 
in that bed?" 

" Oh yes, oh yes." 

After Mr. Listwell left the room, Madison said he really 



140 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



hesitated whether or not he should lie on the floor ; for 
that was far more comfortable and inviting than any bed to 
which he had been used. 

We pass over the thoughts and feelings, the hopes and 
fears, the plans and purposes, that revolved in the mind of 
Madison during the day that he was secreted at the house of 
Mr. Listwell. The reader will be content to know that 
nothing occurred to endanger his liberty, or to excite alarm. 
Many were the little attentions bestowed upon him in his 
quiet retreat and hiding-place. In the evening, Mr. Listwell, 
after treating Madison to a new suit of winter clothes, and 
replenishing his exhausted purse with five dollars, all in 
silver, brought out his two-horse waggon, well provided with 
buffaloes, and silently started off with him to Cleveland. 
They arrived there without interruption a few minutes before 
sunrise the next morning. Fortunately the steamer Admiral 
lay at the wharf, and was to start for Canada at nine o'clock. 
Here tHe last anticipated danger was surmounted. It was 
feared that just at this point the hunters of men might be on 
the look-out, and, possibly, pounce upon their victim. Mr. 
Listwell saw the captain of the boat ; cautiously sounded 
him on the matter of carrying liberty-loving passengers, 
before he introduced his precious charge. This done, Madison 
was conducted on board. With usual generosity this true 
subject of the emancipating Queen welcomed Madison, and 
assured him that he should be safely landed in Canada, free 
of charge. Madison now felt himself no more a piece of 
merchandise, but a passenger, and, like any other passenger, 
going about his business, carrying with him what belonged 
to him, and nothing which rightfully belonged to anybody 
else. 

Wrapped in his new winter suit, snug and comfortable, a 
pocket full of silver, safe from his pursuers, embarked for 
a free country, Madison gave every sign of sincere gratitude, 
and bade his kind benefactor farewell, with such a grip of the 
hand as bespoke a heart full of honest manliness, and a soid 
that knew how to appreciate kindness. It need scarcely be 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



141 



said that Mr. Listwell was deeply moved by the gratitude 
and friendship he had excited in a nature so noble as that 
of the fugitive. He went to his home that day with a joy 
and gratification which knew no bounds. He had done 
something " to deliver the spoiled out of the hands of the 
spoiler," he had given bread to the hungry, and clothes to 
the naked ; he had befriended a man to whom the laws 
of his country forbade all friendship, — and, in proportion 
to the odds against his righteous deed, was the delightful 
satisfaction that gladdened his heart. On reaching home, he 
exclaimed, " He is safe, — lie is safe, — he is safe" — and the 
cup of his joy was shared by his excellent lady. The follow- 
ing letter was received from Madison a few days after : — 

" Windsor, Canada West, Dec. 16, 1840. 
My dear Friend, — for such you truly are : — 

Madison is out of the woods at last ; I nestle in the mane 
of the British lion, protected by his mighty paw from the 
talons and the beak of the American eagle. I am free, and 
breathe an atmosphere too pure for slaves, slave-hunters, or 
slave-holders. My heart is full. As many thanks to you, 
sir, and to your kind lady, as there are pebbles on the shores 
of Lake Erie ; and may the blessing of God rest upon you 
both. You will never be forgotten by your profoundly 
grateful friend, 

Madison Washington." 



142 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



PAET III. 

His head was with his heart, 

And that was far away! 

ChUde Harold. 

Just upon the edge of the great road from Petersburg, 
Virginia, to Richmond, and only about fifteen miles from the 
latter place, there stands a somewhat ancient and famous 
public tavern, quite notorious in its better days, as being the 
grand resort for most of the leading gamblers, horse-racers, 
cock-fighters, and slave-traders from all the country round 
about. This old rookery, the nucleus of all sorts of birds, 
mostly those of ill omen, has, like everything else peculiar to 
Virginia, lost much of its ancient consequence and splendour; 
yet it keeps up some appearance of gaiety and high life, and 
is still frequented, even by respectable travellers, who are 
unacquainted with its past history and present condition. 
Its fine old portico looks well at a distance, and gives the 
building an air of grandeur. A nearer view, however, does 
little to sustain this pretension. The house is large, and its 
style imposing, but time and dissipation, unfailing in their 
results, have made ineffaceable marks upon it, and it must, in 
the common course of events, soon be numbered with the 
things that were. The gloomy mantle of ruin is, already out- 
spread to envelop it, and its remains, even but now remind 
one of a human skull, after the flesh has mingled with the 
earth. Old hats and rags fill the places in the upper windows 
once occupied by large panes of glass, and the moulding 
boards along the roofing have dropped off from their places, 
leaving holes and crevices in the rented wall for bate and 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



143 



swallows to build their nests in. The platform of the portico 
which fronts the highway is a rickety affair, its planks are 
loose, and in some places entirely gone, leaving effective 
man-traps in their stead for nocturnal ramblers. The 
wooden jDillars, which once supported it, but which now hang 
as encumbrances, are all rotten, and tremble with the touch. 
A part of the stable, a fine old structure in its day, which has 
given comfortable shelter to hundreds of the noblest steeds of 
" the Old Dominion " at once, was blown down many years 
ago, and never has been, and probably never will be, re-built. 
The doors of the bam are in wretched condition ; they will 
shut with a little human strength to help their worn-out 
hinges, but not otherwise. The side of the great building 
seen from the road is much discoloured in sundry places by 
slops poured from the upper windows, rendering it unsightly 
and offensive in other respects. Three or four great dogs, 
looking as dull and gloomy as the mansion itself, lie stretched 
out along the door-sills under the portico ; and double the 
number of loafers, some of them completely rum-ripe, and 
others ripening, dispose themselves like so many sentinels 
about the front of the house. These latter understand the 
science of scraping acquaintance to perfection. They know 
everybody, and almost everybody knows them. Of course, 
as their title implies, they have no regular employment. 
They are (to use an expressive phrase) hangers on, or still 
better, they are what sailors would denominate holders-on to 
the slack, in everybody's mess, and in nobody's watch. They are, 
however, as good as the newspaper for the events of the day, 
and they sell their knowledge almost as cheap. Money they 
seldom have ; yet they always have capital the most reliable. 
They make their way with a succeeding traveller by intelli- 
gence gained from a preceding one. All the great names of 
Virginia they know by heart, and have seen their owners 
often. The history of the house is folded in their lips, and 
they rattle off stories in connection with it, equal to the 
guides at Dryburgh Abbey. He must be a shrewd man, and 
well skilled in the art of evasion, who gets out of the hands of 
these fellows without being at the expence of a treat. 



144 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



It was at this old tavern, while on a second visit to the 
State of Virginia, in 1841, that Mr. Listwell, unacquainted 
with the fame of the place, turned aside, about sunset, to pass 
the night. Riding up to the house, he had scarcely dis- 
mounted, when one of the half-dozen bar-room fraternity 
met and addressed him in a manner exceedingly bland and 
accommodating. 

" Fine evening, sir." 

" Very fine," said Mr. Listwell. u This is a tavern, I 
believe ? " 

a O yes, sir, yes ; although you may think it looks a little 
the worse for wear, it was once as good a house as any in 
Virginy. I make no doubt if ye spend the night here, you'll 
think it a good house yet ; for there ain't a more accommo- 
dating man in the country than you'll find the landlord." 

Listwell. " The most I want is a good bed for myself, 
and a full manger for my horse. If I get these, I shall be 
quite satisfied." 

Loafer. " Well, I alloys like to hear a gentleman talk for 
his horse ; and just because the horse can't talk for itself. A 
man that don't care about his beast, and don't look arter it 
when he's travelling ain't much in my eye anyhow. Now, sir, 
I likes a horse, and I'll guarantee your horse will be taken 
good care on here. That old stabk, for all you see it looks so 
shabby now, once sheltered the great Eclipse, when he run 
here agin Batchelor and Jumping Jemmy. Them was fast 
horses, but he beat 'em both." 

Listwell " Indeed." 

Loafer. " Well, I rather reckon you've travelled a right 
smart distance to-day, from the look of your horse ? " 
Listwell. " Forty miles only." 

Loafer. " Well ! I '11 he darned if that aint a pretty good 
only. Mister, that beast of yours is a singed cat, I warrant 
you. I never see'd a creature like that that wasn't good on the 
road. You Ve come about forty miles, then ? " 

Listwell. " Yes, yes, and a pretty good pace at that." 

Loafer. "You're somewhat in a hurry, then, I make no 
doubt ? I reckon I could guess if I would, what you 're going 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



145 



to Richmond for ? It wouldn't be much, of a gues3 either ; for 
it 's rumoured hereabouts, that there 's to be the greatest sale 
of niggers at Richmond to-morrow that has taken place there 
in a long time ; and I'll be bound you're a going there to have 
a hand in it." 

Listwell. u Why, you must think, then, that there's money 
to be made at that business ? " 

Loafer. "Well, 'pon my honour, sir, I never made any 
that way myself; but it stands to reason that it's a money- 
making business ; for almost all other business in Virginia is 
dropped to engage in this. One thing is sartain, I never see'd 
a nigger-buyer yet that hadn't a plenty of money, and he 
wasn't as free with it as water. I has known one on 'em to 
treat as high as twenty times in a night ; and, ginerally 
speaking, they's men of edication, and knows all about the 
government. The fact is, sir, I alloys like to hear 'em talk, 
becase I alloys can learn something from them." 

Listwell. " What may I call your name, sir ?" 

Loafer. " Well, now, they calls me Wilkes. I 'm known 
all around by the gentlemen that comes here. They all knows 
old Wilkes.'' 

Listivell. " Well, Wilkes, you seem to be acquainted here, 
and I see you have a strong liking for a horse. Be so good as 
to speak a kind word for mine to the hostler to-night, and 
you'll not lose any thing by it." 

Loafer. "Well, sir, I see you don't say much, but you've 
got an insight into things. It's alloys wise to get the good 
will of them that's acquainted about a tavern ; for a man don't 
know when he goes into a house what may happen, or how 
much he may need a friend." Here the loafer gave Mr. List- 
well a significant grin, which expressed a sort of triumphant 
pleasure at having, as he supposed, by his tact succeeded in 
placing so fine appearing a gentleman under obligations to 
him. 

The pleasure, however, was mutual ; for there was some- 
thing so insinuating in the glance of this loquacious customer, 
that Mr. Listwell was very glad to get quit of him, and to do 

K 



146 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



so more successfully, he ordered his supper to be brought to 
hiui in his private room, private to the eye, but not to the ear. 
This room was directly over the bar, and the plastering being 
off, nothing but pine boards and naked laths separated him 
from the disagreeable company below, — he could easily hear 
what was said in the bar-room, and was rather glad of the 
advantage it afforded, for, as you shall see, it furnished him 
important hints as to the manner and deportment he should 
assume during his stay at that tavern. 

Mr. Listwell says he had got into his room but a few mo- 
ments, when he heard the officious "Wilkes below, in a tone of 
disappointment, exclaim, "Whar's that gentleman ? " Wilkes 
was evidently expecting to meet with his friend at the bar- 
room, on his return, and had no doubt of his doing the hand- 
some thing. ' ' He has gone to his room," answered the land- 
lord, " and has ordered his supper to be brought to him." 

Here some one shouted out, " Who is he, Wilkes ? Where's 
he going ? " 

" Well, now, I'll be hanged if I know; but I'm willing to 
make any man a bet of this old hat agin a five-dollar bill, that 
that gent is as full of money as a dog is of fleas. He's going 
down to Richmond to buy niggers, I make no doubt. He's no 
fool, I warrant ye." 

" Well, he acts d d strange," said another, "anyhow. I 

likes to see a man, when he comes up to a tavern, to come 
straight into the bar-room, and show that he's a man among 
men. Nobody was going to bite him." 

"Now, I don't blame him a bit for not coming in here. 
That man knows his business, and means to take care on his 
money," answered Wilkes. 

" Wilkes, you're a fool. You only say that, bekase you hope 
to get a few coppers out on him." 

" You only measure my corn by your half-bushel, I won't 
say that you're only mad becase I got the chance of speaking 
to him first." 

"0 Wilkes! you're known here. You'll praise up any- 
body that will give you a copper; besides, 'tis my opinion 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



147 



that that fellow who took his long slab-sides up stairs, for all 
the world just like a half-scared woman, afraid to look honest 
men in the face, is a Northerner, and as mean as dish-water." 

" Now what will you bet of that ? " said Wilkes. 

The speaker said, " I make no bets with you, 'kase you can 
get that fellow up stairs there to say anything." 

" Well," said Wilkes, " I am willing to bet any man in the 
company that that gentleman is a ?itgger-h\ijer. He didn't 
tell me so right down, but I reckon I knows enough about 
men to give a pretty clean guess as to what they are arter." 

The dispute as to who Mr. List well was, what his business, 
where he was going, &c, was kept up with much animation 
for some time, and more than once threatened a serious dis- 
turbance of the peace. Wilkes had his friends as well as his 
opponents. After this sharp debate, the company amused 
themselves by drinking whisky, and telling stories. The lat- 
ter consisting of quarrels, fights, rencontres, and duels, m 
which distinguished persons of that neighbourhood, and fre- 
quenters of that house, had been actors, Some of these stories 
were frightful enough, and were told, too, with a relish which 
bespoke the pleasure of the parties with the horrid scenes they 
portrayed. It would not be proper here to give the reader 
any idea of the vulgarity and dark profanity which rolled, as 
" sweet morsel," under these corrupt tongues. A more brutal 
set of creatures, perhaps, never congregated. 

Disgusted, and a little alarmed withal, Mr. Listwell, who 
was not accustomed to such entertainment, at length retired, 
but not to sleep. He was too much wrought upon by what he 
had heard to rest quietly, and what snatches of sleep he got, 
were interrupted by dreams which were anything than plea- 
sant. At eleven o'clock, there seemed to be several hundreds 
of persons crowding into the house. A loud and confused 
clamour, cursing and cracking of whips, and the noise of chains 
startled him from his bed ; for a moment he would have given 
the half of his farm in Ohio to have been at home. This up- 
roar was kept up with undulating course, till near morning. 
There was loud laughing, — loud singing, — loud cursing, — and 
yet there seemed to be weepiug and mourning in the midst of 



148 AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 

all. Mr. Listwell said he had heard enough during the fore- 
part of the night to convince him that a buyer of men and 
women stood the best chance of being respected. And he, 
therefore, thought it best to say nothing which might undo the 
favourable opinion that had been formed of him in the bar- 
room by at least one of the fraternity that swarmed about it. 
While he would not avow himself a purchaser of slaves, he 
deemed it not prudent to disavow it. He felt that he might, 
properly,, refuse to cast such a pearl before parties which, to 
him, were worse than swine. To reveal himself, and to im- 
part a knowledge of his real character and sentiments would, 
to say the least, be imparting intelligence with the certainty 
of seeing it and himself both abused. Mr. List well confesses, 
that this reasoning did not altogether satisfy his conscience, 
for, hating slavery as he did, and regarding it to be the imme- 
diate duty of every man to cry out against it, " without com- 
promise and without concealment," it was hard for him to 
admit to himself the possibility of circumstances wherein a 
man might, properly, hold his tongue on the subject. Having 
as little of the spirit of a martyr as Erasmus, he concluded, 
like the latter, that it was wiser to trust the mercy of God for 
his soul, than the humanity of slave-traders for his body. 
Bodily fear, not conscientious scruples, prevailed. 

In this spirit he rose early in the morning, manifesting no 
surprise at what he had heard during the night. His quandam 
friend was soon at his elbow, boring him with all sorts of ques- 
tions. All, however, directed to find out his character, busi- 
ness, residence, purposes, and destination. "With the most 
perfect appearance of goodnature and carelessness, Mr. List- 
well evaded these meddlesome inquiries, and turned conversa- 
tion to general topics, leaving himself and all that specially 
pertained to him out of discussion. Disengaging himself from 
their troublesome companionship, he made his way to an old 
bowling-alley, which was connected with the house, and which, 
like all the rest, was in very bad repair. 

On reaching the alley Mr. Listwell saw, for the first time 
in his life, a slave-gang on their way to market. A sad sight 
truly. Here were one hundred and thirty human beings, — 



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149 



children of a common Creator — guilty of no crime — men and 
women, with hearts, minds, and deathless spirits, chained and 
fettered, and bound for the market, in a Christian country, — 
in a country boasting of its liberty, independence, and high 
civilization! Humanity converted into merchandise, and 
linked in iron bands, with no regard to decency or huma- 
nity ! All sizes, ages, and sexes, mothers, fathers, daughters, 
brothers, sisters , — all huddled together, on their way to 
market to be sold and separated from home, and from each 
other for ever. And all to fill the pockets of men too lazy to 
work for an honest living, and who gain their fortune by 
plundering the helpless, and trafficking in the souls and 
sinews of men. As he gazed upon this revolting and heart- 
rending scene, our informant said he almost doubted the 
existence of a God of justice ! And he stood wondering that 
the earth did not open and swallow up such wickedness. 

In the midst of these reflections, and while running his eye 
up and down the fettered ranks, he met the glance of one 
whose face he thought he had seen before. To be resolved, 
he moved towards the spot. It was Madison Washington ! 
Here was a scene for the pencil ! Had Mr. Listwell been 
confronted by one risen from the dead, he could not have 
been more appalled. He was completely stunned. A thun- 
derbolt could not have struck him more dumb. He stood, 
for a few moments, as motionless as one petrified ; collecting 
himself, he at length exclaimed, " Madison ! is that you ? " 

The noble fugitive, but little less astonished than himself, 
answered cheerily. " O yes, sir, they've got me again.'* ' 

Thoughtless of consequences for the moment, Mr. Listwell 
ran up to his old friend, placing his hands upon his shoulders, 
and looked him in the face ] Speechless they stood gazing at 
each other as if to be doubly resolved that there was no mis- 
take about the matter, till Madison motioned his friend away, 
intimating a fear lest the keepers should find him there, and 
suspect him of tampering with the slaves. 

" They will soon be out to look after us. You can come 
when they go to breakfast, and I will tell you all." 

Pleased with this arrangement, Mr. Listwell passed out of 



150 



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the alley ; but only just in time to save himself, for, while 
near the door, he observed three men making their way to 
the alley. The thought occurred to him to await their 
arrival, as the best means of diverting the ever ready suspi- 
cions of the guilty. 

While the scene between Mr. Listwell and his friend 
Madison was going on, the other slaves stood as mute spec- 
tators, — at a loss to know what all this could mean. As he 
left, he heard the man chained to Madison ask, " Who is that 
gentleman ] " 

" He is a friend of mine. I cannot tell you now. Suffice 
it to say he is a friend. You shall hear more of him before 
long, but mark me ! whatever shall pass between that gentle- 
man and me, in your hearing, I pray you will say nothing 
about it. We are all chained here together, — ours is a com- 
mon lot ; and that gentleman is not less your friend tha 
mine."'' At these words, all mysterious as they were, the 
unhappy company gave signs of satisfaction and hope. It 
seems that Madison, by that mesmeric power which is the 
invariable accompaniment of genius, had already won the 
confidence of the gang, and was a sort of general in-chief 
among them. 

By this time the keepers arrived. A horrid trio, well 
fitted for their demoniacal work. Their uncombed hair came 
down over foreheads "villainously lo%" and with eyes, 
mouths, and noses to match. a Hallo ! hallo ! " they growled 
out as they entered. " Are you all there ] n 

" All here," said Madison. 

" Well, well, that's right ! your journey will soon be over. 
You'll be in Kichmond by eleven to-day, and then you'll have 
an easy time on it." 

a I say, gal, what in the devil are you crying about ?" said 
one of them. " I'll give you something to cry about, if you 
don't mind." This was said to a girl, apparently not more 
than twelve years old, who had been weeping bitterly. She 
had, probably, left behind her a loving mother, affectionate 
sisters, brothers, and friends, and her tears were but the 
natural expression of her sorrow, and the only solace. But 



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151 



the dealers in human flesh have no respect for such sorrow. 
They look upon it as a protest against their cruel injustice, 
and they are prompt to punish it. 

This is a puzzle not easily solved. How came he here? 
what can I do for him 1 may I not even now be in some way 
compromised in this affair 1 were thoughts that troubled Mr. 
Listwell, and made him eager for the promised opportunity 
of speaking to Madison. 

The bell now sounded for breakfast, and keepers and 
drivers, with pistols and bowie-knives gleaming from their 
belts, hurried in, as if to get the best places. Taking the 
chance now afforded, Mr. Listwell hastened back to the 
bowling-alley. Reaching Madison, he said, " Nov/ do tell me 
all about the matter. Do you know me 1 " 

" Oh, yes," said Madison, " I know you well, and shall 
never forget you nor that cold and dreary night you gave me 
shelter. I must be short," he continued, " for they'll soon be 
out again. This, then, is the story in brief. On reaching 
Canada, and getting over the excitement of making my 
escape, sir, my thoughts turned to my poor wife, who had 
well deserved my love by her virtuous fidelity and undying 
affection for me. I could not bear the thought of leaving her 
in the cruel jaws of slavery, without making an effort to rescue 
her. .First, I tried to get money to buy her ; but, oh ! the pro- 
cess was too slow. I despaired of accomplishing it. She was in 
all my thoughts by day, and my dreams by night. At times I 
could almost hear her voice, saying, ' Madison ! Madison ! 
will you then leave me here ? can you leave me here to die ? 
'No ! no ! you will come ! you will come ! ' I was wretched. 
1 lost my appetite. I could neither work, eat, nor sleep, till I 
resolved to hazard my own liberty, to gain that of my wife ! 
But I must be short. Six weeks ago I reached my old mas- 
ter's place. I laid about the neighbourhood nearly a week, 
watching my chance, and, finally, I ventured upon the despe- 
rate attempt to reach my poor wife's room by means of a 
ladder. I reached the window, but the noise in raising it 
frightened my wife, and she screamed and fainted. I took 
her in my arms, and was descending the ladder, when the 



152 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



dogs began to bark furiously, and before I could get to the 
woods the white folks were roused. The cool night air soon 
restored my wife, and she readily recognized me. We made 
the best of our way to the woods, but it was now too late, — 
the dogs were after us as though they would have torn us to 
pieces. It was all over with me now ! My old master and 
his two sons ran out with loaded rifles, and before we were 
out of gunshot, our ears were assailed with ' Stop ! stop ! or 
he shot down? Nevertheless we ran on. Seeing that we gave 
no heed to their calls, they fired, and my poor wife fell by 
my side dead, while I received but a slight flesh wound. I 
now became desperate, and stood my ground, and awaited 
their attack over her dead body. They rushed upon me, 
with their rifles in hand. I parried their blows, and fought 
them till I was knocked down and overpowered." 

" Oh ! it was madness to have returned," said Mr. List- 
well. 

" Sir, I could not be free with the galling thought that my 
poor wife was still a slave. With her in slavery, my body, 
not my spirit, was free. I was taken to the house, — chained 
to a ring-bolt, — my wounds dressed. I was kept there three 
days. All the slaves, for miles around, were brought to see 
me. Many slave-holders came with their slaves, using me 
as proof of the completeness of their power, and of the impos- 
sibility of slaves getting away. I was taunted, jeered at, and 
be-rated by them, in a manner that pierced me to the soul. 
Thank God I was able to smother my rage, and to bear it 
all with seeming composure. After my wounds were nearly 
healed, I was taken to a tree and stripped, and I received 
sixty lashes on my naked back. A few days after, I was 
sold to a slave-trader, and placed in this gang for the- New 
Orleans market." 

" Do you think your master would sell you to me ?" 

u O no, sir ! I was sold on condition of my being taken 
South. Their motive is revenge." 

" Then, then," said Mr. Listwell, " I fear I can do nothing 
for you. Put your trust in God, and bear your sad lot with 
the manly fortitude which becomes a man. I shall see you 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



153 



at Kichmond, but don't recognize me." Saying this, Mr. 
Listwell handed Madison ten dollars ; said a few words to 
the other slaves ; received their hearty " God bless yon," and 
made his way to the house. 

Fearful of exciting suspicion by too long delay, our friend 
went to the breakfast table, with the air of one who half 
reproved the greediness of those who rushed in at the sound 
of the bell. A cup of coffee was all that he could manage. 
His feelings were too bitter and excited, and his heart was 
too full with the fate of poor Madison (whom he loved as 
well as admired) to relish his breakfast ; and although he sat 
long after the company had left the table, he really did little 
more than change the position of his knife and fork. The 
strangeness of meeting again one whom he had met on two 
several occasions before, under extraordinary circumstances, 

as well calculated to suggest the idea that a supernatural 
power, a wakeful providence, or an inexorable fate, had 
linked their destiny together; and that no efforts of his 
could disintangle him from the mysterious web of circum- 
stances which enfolded him. 

On leaving the table, Mr. Listwell nerved himself up and 
walked firmly into the bar-room. He was at once greeted 
again by that talkative chatter-box, Mr. Wilkes. 

" Them's a likely set of niggers in the allay there," said 
Wilkes. 

" Yes, they're fine looking fellows ; one of them I should 
like to purchase, and for him I would be willing to give a 
handsome sum." 

Turning to one of his comrades, and with a grin of victory, 
Wilkes said, " Aha, Bill, did you hear that] I told you I 
| know'cl that gentleman wanted to buy niggers, and would bid 
: as high as any purchaser in the market." 

" Come, come," said Listwell, " don't be too loud in your 
praise, you are old enough to know that prices rise when 
purchasers are plenty." 

" That's a fact," said Wilkes, " I see you knows the ropes— 
and there's not a man in old Virginy whom I'd rather help to 
make a good bargain than you, sir." 



154 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Mr. Listwell here threw a dollar at Wilkes, (which the 
latter caught with a dexterous hand,) saying, " Take that for 
your kind good will." Wilkes held up the dollar to his right 
eye, with a grin of victory, and turned to the morose 
grumbler in the corner who had questioned the liberality 
of a man of whom he knew nothing. 

Mr. Listwell now stood as well with the company as any 
other occupant of the bar-room. 

We pass over the hurry and bustle, the brutal vociferations 
of the slave-drivers in getting their unhappy gang in motion 
for Eichmond ; and we need not narrate every application of 
the lash to those who faltered in the journey. Mr. Listwell 
followed the train at a long distance, with a sad heart ; and 
on reaching Eichmond, left his horse at an hotel, and made 
his way to the wharf, in the direction of which he saw the 
slave-corn' e driven. He was just in time to see the whole 
company embark for New Orleans. The thought struck him 
that, while mixing with the multitude, he might do his 
friend Madison one last service, and he stepped into a hard- 
ware store and purchased three strong files. These he took 
with him, and standing near the small boat, which lay in 
waiting to bear the company by parcels to the side of the 
brier that lay in the stream, he managed, as Madison passed 
him, to slip the files into his pocket, and at once darted back 
among the crowd. 

All the company now on board, the imperious voice of the 
captain sounded, and instantly a dozen hardy seamen were in 
the rigging, hurrying aloft to unfurl the broad canvas of our 
Baltimore built American Slaver. The sailors hung about the 
ropes, like so many black cats, now in the round-tops, now in 
the cross-trees, now on the yard-arms ; all was bluster and 
activity. Soon the broad topsail, the royal and top gallant 
sail were spread to the breeze. Eound went the heavy 
windlass, clank, clank went the fall-bit, — the anchors 
weighed,— jibs, mainsails, and topsails hauled to the wind, 
and° the long, low, black slaver, with her cargo of human 
flesh, careened, and moved forward to the sea. 
Mr. Listwell stood on the shore, and watched the slaver 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM, 



155 



till the last speck of her upper sails faded from sight, and 
announced the limit of human vision. Ci Farewell ! farewell ! 
brave and true man ! God grant that brighter skies may 
smile upon your future than have yet looked down upon 
your thorny pathway." 

Saying this to himself, our friend lost no time in complet- 
ing his business, and in making his way homewards, gladly 
shaking off from his feet the dust of Old Virginia. 



156 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



PART IY. 



Oh, there's the slave so lowly 
Conderan'd to chains unholy, 

Who could he burst 

His bonds at first 
Would pine beneath them slowly ? 

Moore. 

Know ye not 

Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow. 

ChUde Harold. 

What a world of inconsistency, as well as of wickedness, 
is suggested by the smooth and gliding phrase, American 
Slave Trade ; and how strange and perverse is that moral 
sentiment which loathes, execrates, and brands as piracy and 
as deserving of death the carrying aw T ay into captivity men, 
women, and children from the African coast ; but which is 
neither shocked nor disturbed by a similar traffic, carried on 
w T ith the same motives and purposes, and characterized by 
even more odious peculiarities on the coast of our model 
republic. We execrate and hang the wretch guilty of this 
crime on the coast of Guinea, while we respect and applaud 
the guilty participators in this murderous business on the 
enlightened shores of the Chesapeake. The inconsistency 
is so flagrant and glaring, that it would seem to cast a doubt 
on the doctrine of the innate moral sense of mankind. 

Just two months after the sailing of the Virginia slave 
brig, which the reader has seen move off* to sea so proudly 
with her human cargo for the New Orleans market, there 
chanced to meet, in the Marine Coffee-house at Richmond, a 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



157 



company of ocean birds, when the following conversation, 
which throws some light on the subsequent history, not only 
of Madison Washington, but of the hundred and thirty 
human beings with whom we last saw him chained. 

" I say, shipmate, you had rather rough weather on your 
late passage to Orleans?" said Jack Williams, a regular old 
salt, tauntingly, to a trim, compact, manly-looking person, 
who proved to be the first mate of the slave brig in question. 

"Foul play, as well as foul weather," replied the firmly 
knit personage, evidently but little inclined to enter upon a 
subject which terminated so ingloriously to the captain and 
officers of the A merican slaver. 

" Well, betwixt you and me," said Williams, " that whole 
affair on board of the Creole was miserably and disgracefully 
managed. Those black rascals got the upper hand of ye 
altogether : and in my opinion, the whole disaster was the 
result of ignorance of the real character of darkies in gene- 
ral. With half a dozen resolute white men, (I say it not 
boastingly,) I could have had the rascals in irons in ten 
minutes, not because I'm so strong, but I know how to ma- 
nage 'em. With my back against the caboose, I could, myself, 
have flogged a dozen of them ; and had I been on board, by 
every monster of the deep, every black devil of 'em all would 
have had his neck stretched from the yard-arm. Ye made a 
mistake in yer manner of fighting 'em. All that is needed in 
dealing with a set of darkies, is to show that yer not afraid 
of 'em. For my own part, I would not honour a dozen nig- 
gers by pointing a gun at one of 'em, — a good stout whip, or 
a stiff rope's end, is better than all the guns at Old Point to 
quell a nigger insurrection. Why, sir, to take a gun to a 
nigger is the best way you can select to tell him you are 
afraid of him, and the best way of inviting his attack." 

This speech made quite a sensation among the company, 
and a part of them intimated solicitude for the answer which 
might be made to it. Our first mate replied, " Mr. Williams, 
all that you've now said sounds very well here on shore, w^here, 
perhaps, you have studied negro character. I do not profess to 
understand the subject as well as yourself ; but it strikes me, 



158 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



you apply the same rule in dissimilar cases. It is quite easy 
to talk of flogging niggers here on land, where you have the 
sympathy of the community, and the whole physical force of 
the government, state and national, at your command ; and 
where, if a negro shall lift his hand against a white man, the 
whole community, with one accord, are ready to unite in 
shooting him down. I say, in such circumstances, it's easy to 
talk of flogging negroes and of negro cowardice : but, sir, I 
deny that the negro is, naturally, a coward, or that your 
theory of managing slaves will stand the test of salt water. It 
may do very well for an overseer, a contemptible hireling, to 
take advantage of fears already in existence, and which his 
presence has no power to inspire ; to swagger about, whip in 
hand, and discourse on the timidity and cowardice of negroes; 
for they have a smooth sea and a fair wind. It is one thing 
to manage a company of slaves on a Virginia plantation, and 
quite another thing to quell an insurrection on the lonely bil- 
lows of the Atlantic, where every breeze speaks of courage 
and liberty. For the negro to act cowardly on shore, may be 
to act wisely ; and I've some doubts whether you, Mr. "Wil- 
liams, would find it very convenient, were you a slave in Al- 
giers, to raise your hand against the bayonets of a whole 
government." 

" By George, shipmate," said "Williams, " you're coming 
rather too near. Either I've fallen very low in your esti- 
mation, or your notions of negro courage have got up a button- 
hole too high. Now I more than ever wish I'd been on board 
of that luckless craft. I'd have given ye practical evidence of 
the truth of my theory. I don't doubt there's some differ- 
ence in being at sea. But a nigger's a nigger, on sea or land ; 
and is a coward, find him where you will ; a drop of blood 
from one on' em will skeer a hundred. A knock on the nose, 
or a kick on the shin, will tame the wildest * darkey ' you can 
fetch me. I say again, and will stand by it, I could, with half 
a dozen good men, put the whole nineteen on 'em in irons, and 
have carried them safe to New Orleans too. Mind, I don't 
blame you ; but I do say, and every gentleman here will bear 
me out in it, that the fault was somewhere, or them niggers 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



159 



would never have got off as they have done. For my part I 
feel ashamed to have the idea go abroad, that a ship-load of 
slaves can't be safely taken from Richmond to New Orleans. 
I should like, merely to redeem the character of Virginia 
sailors, to take charge of a ship-load on 'em to-morrow." 

"Williams went on in this strain, occasionally casting an 
imploring glance at the company for applause for his wit, and 
sympathy for his contempt of negro courage. He had, 
evidently, however, waked up the wrong passenger ; for 
besides being in the right, his opponent carried that in his 
eye which marked him a man not to be trifled with. - 

"Well, sir," said the sturdy mate, "you can select your 
own method for distinguishing yourself ; — the path of ambi- 
tion in this direction is quite open to you in Virginia, and 
I've no doubt that you will be highly appreciated and com- 
pensated for all your valiant achievements in that line ; but, 
for myself, while I do not profess to be a giant, I have 
resolved never to set my foot on the deck of a slave ship, 
either as officer, or common sailor again ; I have got enough 
of it." 

" Indeed ! indeed !" exclaimed Williams, derisively. 

" Yes, indeed" echoed the mate ; " but don't misunderstand 
me. It is not the high value that I set upon my life that 
makes me say what I have said ; yet I'm resolved never to 
endanger my life again in a cause which my conscience does 
not approve. I dare say here what many men/ee/, but dare 
not speak, that this whole slave-trading business is a disgrace 
and scandal to Old Virginia." 

" Hold ! hold on ! shipmate," said Williams, " I hardly 
thought you'd have shown your colours so soon, — I'll be 
hanged if you're not as good an abolitionist as Garrison 
himself." 

The mate now rose from his chair, manifesting some excite- 
ment. " What do you mean, sir," said he, in a commanding 
tone. " That man does not Ike ivho shall offer me an insult 
with impunity" 

The effect of these words was marked ; and the company 
clustered around, Williams, in an apologetic tone said, 



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" Shipmate ! keep your temper. I meant no insult. We all 
know that Tom Grant is no coward, and what I said about 
your being an abolitionist was simply this : you might have 
put down them black mutineers and murderers, but your 
conscience held you back." 

" In that, too," said Grant, " you were mistaken. I did all 
that any man with equal strength and presence of mind could 
have done. The fact is, Mr. Williams, you underrate the 
courage as well as the skill of these negroes, and further, you 
do not seem to have been correctly informed about the case 
in hand at all." 

" All I know about it is," said Williams, " that on the 
ninth day after you left Richmond, a dozen or two of the 
niggers ye had on board, came on deck and took the ship 
from you ; — had her steered into a British port, where, by- 
the-bye, every woolly head of them went ashore and was free. 
Now I take this to be a discreditable piece of business, and 
one demanding explanation." 

" There are a great many discreditable things in the world," 
said Grant. " For a ship to go down under a calm sky is, upon 
the first flush of it, disgraceful either to sailors or caulkers. 
But when we learn, that by some mysterious disturbance in 
nature, the waters parted beneath, and swallowed the ship 
up, we lose our indignation and disgust in lamentation 
of the disaster, and 'in awe of the Power which controls 
the elements." 

* Very true, very true," said Williams, " I should be very 
glad to have an explanation which would relieve the affair of ; 
its present discreditable features. I have desired to see you ] 
ever since you got home, and to learn from you a full state- < 
ment of the facts in the case. To me the whole thing seems 1 
unaccountable. I cannot see how a dozen or two of ignorant | 
negroes, not one of whom had ever been to sea before, and all , 
of whom were closely ironed between decks, should be able | 
to get their fetters off, rush out of the hatchway in open day- ] 
light, kill two white men, the one the captain and the other 
their master, and then carry the ship into a British port, , 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



161 



where every 1 darkey 9 of them was set free. There must have 
been great carelessness, or cowardice somewhere ! " 

The company which had listened in silence during most of 
this discussion, now became much excited. One said, I agree 
with "Williams ; and several said the thing looks black 
enough. After the temporary tumultuous exclamations had 
subsided, — 

" I see," said Grant, " how you regard this case, and how 
difficult it will be for me to render our ship's company 
blameless in your eyes. Nevertheless, I will state the fact 
precisely as they came under my own observation. Mr. 
Williams speaks of ' ignorant negroes,' and, as a general rule, 
they are ignorant ; but had he been on board the Creole, as I 
was, he would have seen cause to admit that there are 
exceptions to this general rule. The leader of the mutiny in 
question was just as shrewd a fellow as ever I met in my life, 
and was as well fitted to lead in a dangerous enterprise as 
any one white man in ten thousand. The name of this man, 
strange to say, (ominous of greatness,) was Madison Wash- 
ington. In the short time he had been on board, he had 
secured the confidence of every officer. The negroes fairly 
worshipped him. His manner and bearing were such, that 
no one could suspect him of a murderous purpose. The only 
feeling with which we regarded him was, that he was a 
powerful, good-disposed negro. He seldom spake to any one, 
and when he did speak, it was with the utmost propriety. 
His words were well chosen, and his pronunciation equal to 
any schoolmaster. It was a mystery to us where he got his 
knowledge of language ; but as little was said to him, none 
of us knew the extent of his intelligence and ability till it 
was too late. It seems he brought three files with him on 
board, and must have gone to work upon his fetters the first 
night out ; and he must have worked well at that ; for on 
the day of the rising, he got the irons off eighteen besides 
himself. 

" The attack began just about twilight in the evening. Ap- 
prehending a squall, I had commanded the second mate to 

L 



162 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



order all hands on deck, to take in sail. A few minutes before 
this I had seen Madison's head above the hatchway, looking* 
out upon the white-capped waves at the leeward. I think I 
never saw him look more good-natured, I stood just about 
midship, on the larboard side. The captain was pacing the 
quarter-deck on the starboard side, in company with Mr. 
Jameson, the owner of most of the slaves onboard. Eoth were 
armed. I had just told the men to lay aloft, and was looking 
to see my orders obeyed, when I heard the discharge of a 
pistol on the starboard side ; and turning suddenly around, the 
very deck seemed covered with fiends from the pit. The nine- 
teen negroes were all on deck, with their broken fetters in 
their hands, rushing in all directions. I put my hand quickly 
in my pocket to draw out my jack-knife ; But before I could 
draw it, I was knocked senseless to the deck. When I came 
to myself, (which I did in a few minutes, I suppose, for it was 
yet quite Tight,) there was not a white man on deck. The 
sailors were all aloft in the rigging, and dared not come down. 
Captain Clarke and Mr. Jameson lay stretched on the quarter- 
deck,— both dying, — while Madison himself stood at the helm 
unhurt. 

i i I was completely weakened by the loss of blood, and had 
not recovered from the stunning blow which felled me to the 
deck; but it was a little too much for me, even in my prostrate 
condition, to see our good brig commanded by a black murderer. 
So I called out to the men to come down and take the ship, or 
die in the attempt. Suiting the action to the word, I started 
aft. You murderous villain, said I, to the imp at the helm, 
and rushed upon him to deal him a blow, when he pushed me 
back with his strong, black arm, as though I had been a boy 
of twelve. I looked around for the men. They were still in 
the rigging. Not one had come down. I started towards 
Madison again. The rascal now told me to stand back. 4 Sir,' 
said he, 1 your life is in my hands. I could have killed you a 
dozen times over during this last half horn', and could kill you 
now. You call me a black murderer, I am not a murderer. 
God is my witness that Liberty, not malice, is the motive for 
this night's work. I have done no more to those dead men 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



163 



yonder, than they would have done to me in like circumstances. 
We have struck for our freedom, and if a true man's heart be 
in you, you will honour us for the deed. We have done that 
which you applaud your fathers for doing, and if we are mur- 
derers, so were they!' 

" I felt little disposition to reply to this impudent speech. 
By heaven, it disarmed me. The fellow loomed up before 
me. I forgot his blackness in the dignity of his manner, 
and the eloquence of his speech. It seemed as if the souls 
of both the great dead (whose names he bore) had entered 
him. To the sailors in the rigging he said: ' Men! the 
battle is over, — your captain is dead. I have complete 
command of this vessel. All i resistance to my authority 
will be in vain. My men have won their liberty, with no 
other weapons but their own broken fetters. We are nine- 
teen in number. We do not thirst for your blood, we demand 
only our rightful freedom. Do not flatter yourselves that I am 
ignorant of chart or compass. I know both. We are now only 
about sixty miles from Nassau. Come down, and do your duty. 
Land us in Nassau, and not a hair of your heads shall be hurt.' 

" I shouted, Stay ivhere you are, men, — when a sturdy black 
fellow ran at me with a handspike, and would have split my 
head open, but for the interference of Madison, who darted be- 
tween me and the blow. i I know what you are up to,' said 
the latter to me. * You want to navigate this brig into a slave 
port, where you would have us all hanged ; but you'll miss it ; 
before this brig shall touch a slave-cursed shore while I am on 
board, I will myself put a match to the magazine, and blow 
her, and be blown with her, into a thousand fragments. Now 
1 have saved your life twice within these last twenty minutes, — 
for, when you lay helpless on deck, my men were about to kill 
you. I held them in check. And if you now (seeing I am 
your friend and not your enemy) persist in your resistance to 
my authority, I give you fair warning, YOU shall die.' 

" Saying this to me, he cast a glance into the rigging, where 
the terror-stricken sailors were clinging, like so many fright- 
ened monkeys, and commanded them to come down, in a tone 
from which there was no appeal j for four men stood by with 



164 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



muskets in hand, ready at the word of command to shoot them 
down. 

" I now became satisfied that resistance was out of the ques- 
tion ; that my best policy was to put the brig into Nassau, 
and secure the assistance of the American consul at that port. 
I felt sure that the authorities would enable us to secure the 
murderers, and bring them to trial. 

" By this time the apprehended squall had burst upon us. 
The wind howled furiously, — the ocean was white with foam, 
which, on account of the darkness, we could see only by the 
quick flashes of lightning that darted occasionally from the 
angry sky. All was alarm and confusion. Hideous cries came 
up from the slave women. Above the roaring billows a suc- 
cession of heavy thunder rolled along, swelling the terrific din. 
Owing to the great darkness, and a sudden shift of the wind, 
we found ourselves in the trough of the sea. AVhen shipping a 
heavy sea over the starboard bow, the bodies of the captain 
and Mr. Jameson were washed overboard. For awhile we had 
dearer interests to look after than slave property. A more 
savage thunder-gust never swept the ocean. Our brig rolled 
and creaked as if every bolt would be started^ and every thread 
of oakum would be pressed out of the seams. To the pumps ! 
to the pumps! I cried, but not a sailor would quit his grasp. 
Fortunately this squall so m passed over, or we must have been 
food for sharks. 

" During all the storm Madison stood firmly at the helm, 
his keen eye fixed upon the binnacle. He was not indifferent 
to the dreadful hurricane ; yet he met it with the equanimity 
of an old sailor. He was silent, but not agitated. The first 
words he uttered after the storm had slightly subsided, were 
characteristic of the man. 1 Mr. mate, you cannot write the 
bloody laws of slavery on those restless billows. The ocean, 
if not the land, is free.' I confess, gentlemen, I felt myself 
in the presence of a superior man ; one who, had he been a 
white man, I would have followed willingly and gladly in any 
honourable enterprise. Our difference of colour was the only 
ground for difference of action. It was not that his principles 
were wrong in the abstract ; for they are the principles of 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



165 



1776. But I could not bring myself to recognize their appli- 
cation to one whom I deemed my inferior. 

" But to my story. What happened now is soon told. Two 
hours after the frightful tempest had spent itself, we were 
plump at the wharf in Nassau. I sent two of our men im- 
mediately to our consul with a statement of facts, requesting 
his interference on our behalf. "What he did, or whether he 
did anything, I don't know ; but, by order of the authorities, 
a company of black soldiers came on board, for the purpose, 
as they said, of protecting the property. These impudent 
rascals, when I called on them to assist me in keeping the 
slaves on board, sheltered themselves adroitly under their in- 
structions only to protect property, — and said they did not 
recognize persons as property. I told them that, by the laws 
of Virginia and the laws of the United States, the slaves on 
board were as much property as the barrels of flour in the 
hold. At this the stupid blockheads showed their wary, 
rolled up their white eyes in horror, as if the idea of putting 
men on a footing with merchandise were revolting to their 
humanity. When these instructions were understood among 
the negroes, it was impossible for us to keep them on board . 
They deliberately gathered up their baggage before our eyes, 
and, against our remonstrances, poured through the gang- 
way, — formed themselves into a procession on the wharf, — bid 
farewell to all on board, and, uttering the wildest shouts of 
exultation, they marched, amidst the deafening cheers of a 
multitude of sympathising spectators, under the triumphant 
leadership of their heroic chief and deliverer, Madison 
Washington." 




166 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



A PLEA FOE FREE SPEECH. 



Give me leave to speak my mind. 

As You Like it. 

The clamorous demand which certain patriotic gentlemen 
are just now making for perfect silence on the slavery question, 
strikes a quiet looker-on as something very odd. It might pass 
for a dull sort of joke, were it not that the means taken to 
enforce it, by vexatious prosecutions, political and social pros- 
criptions, and newspaper assaults on private reputation, are 
beginning, in certain quarters, to assume a decidedly tragic 
aspect, and forcing upon all anti-slavery men the alternative of 
peremptorily refusing compliance, or standing meanly by to see 
others crushed for advocating their opinions. 

The question has been extensively, and I think very naturally 
raised, why these anti-agitation gentlemen do not keep silent 
themselves. For, strange as it may seem, this perilous topic is 
the very one which most of all appears to occupy their thoughts 
too, and is ever uppermost when they undertake to speak of the 
affairs of the country. They are in the predicament of the poor 
man in the Eastern fable, who, being forbidden, on pain of the 
genie's wrath, to utter another cabalistic syllable, found, to his 
horror, that he could never after open his lips without their 
beginning perversely to frame the tabooed articulation. But 
not, as in his case, does fear chain up their organs. They speak 
it boldly out, proclaim it "the corner-stone" of their political 
creed, and do their best in every way, by speeches and articles, 
Union-safety pamphlets and National Convention platforms, to 
" keep it before the people.' 1 And the object always is, to keep 
the people quiet ! Surely, if the Union is not strong enough to 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



167 



bear agitations, the special friends of the Union have chosen a 
singular way to save it. 

I would by no means infer, that they are altogether insecure 
in their professions of anxiety. The truth appears to be, how- 
ever, that in so far as these professions are not a sheer pretence, 
got up by political men for political effect, our estimable fellow 
citizens have, all unwittingly, been obeying a higher law than 
that which they would impose on their neighbours, — a law, 
written in the very nature of the free soul. On this, the subject 
of the age, they must think, and cannot refrain from uttering 
their thoughts. " They believe, and therefore have they 
spoken." And it is a sufficient reply to their unanswerable 
demand for silence on the other side. " We also believe, and 
therefore speak." Pray, why not? 

A certain ardent conservative friend of mine, to whom I once 
proposed this inquiry, made a short answer to it after this 
fashion : — " The abolitionists are all fools and fanatics. When- 
ever the idea of anti-slavery gets hold of a man, he takes leave 
of his common sense, and is thenceforth as one possessed. I 
would put a padlock on every such crazy fellow's mouth." My 
friend's rule, it will be seen, is a very broad one; stopping the 
mouths of all who speak foolishly. Who will undertake to see 
it fairly applied ? or who could feel quite free from nervousness 
in view of its possible operation ? Under an infallible ad- 
ministration, I apprehend, many — some, perhaps, even of the 
most strenuous advocates of the law — might find themselves 
uncomfortably implicated, who at present hardly suspect the 
danger. " Ey'rlakin, a parlous fear ! my masters, you ought to 
consider with yourselves !" I am constrained to confess, that in 
the very midst of my friend's aforesaid patriotic diatribe against 
folly and fanaticism, and his plea for a summary fool-act, I 
could not keep out of my mind some wicked recollections of 
Horace's lines : 

Commani sensu plane caret, iaquimus. Eheu ! 
Quam temere in nosmet legem sancimus iniquam ! 

It must in all candour be confessed, that there is something in 
the subject of slavery which, when fairly looked at and realized, 
is a little trying to one's sanity. Even such intellects as John 



168 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



Wesley's and Thomas Jefferson's seem to stagger a little under 
a view of the appalling sum of iniquity and wretchedness which 
the word represents, and vent their excitement in terms not 
particularly measured. What wonder, then, if men of simpler 
minds should now and then be thrown quite off the balance, and 
think and say some things that are really unwise. I think, 
indeed, it will have to be confessed, that we have had fools and 
fanatics on both sides of the slavery question ; and it is altogether 
among the probabilities, that such will continue to be the case 
hereafter. Still, until we have some infallible criterion to dis- 
tinguish actual folly from that which foolish people merely think 
such, I fancy we must forego the convenience of my friend's 
summary process, and, giving leave to every man to speak his 
mind, leave it to Time — great sifter of men and opinions — to 
separate between the precious and the vile. 

It may be the kindness bred of a fellow feeling, but I must 
confess to a warm side towards my brethren of the motley tribe. 
"While on the one hand I firmly hold with Elihu — who seems to 
have represented young Uz among the friends of Job — that 
"great men are not always wise." I rejoice on the other hand 
in the concession of Polonius, — chief old Fogy of the court of 
Denmark, — that there is "a happiness which madness often hits 
on, that reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered 
of." Folly and craziness, quotha ! Did it, then, never occur 
to you, O Worldly Wiseman, that even your wisdom might be 
bettered by a dash of that which you thus contemptuously 
brand ? Or does the apostle seem to you as one that driveleth, 
when he says, " If any man among you seemeth to be wise in 
this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise ?" 

I have often admired the sagacity of our mediaeval forefathers, 
in the treatment of their (so called) fools. They gave them a 
special licence of the tongue; for they justly estimated the 
advantages which the truly wise know r how to draw from the 
untrammelled utterances of any honest mind, especially of 
minds which, refusing to run tamely in the oiled grooves of 
prescriptive and fashionable orthodoxy, are the more likely, now 
and then, (where it only by accident,) to hit upon truths which 
others missed. Hence they maintained an "Independent 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



169 



"Order" of the motley, whose only business it was freely to 
think and freely speak their minds. MI must have liberty 
withal," says Jaques, aspiring to this dignity, 

— " as free a charter as the wind, 

To blow on whom I please: for so fools have." 

And he adds, in a strain of admonition which certain contem- 
poraneous events might almost lead one to consider prophetic — 

" T bey that are most galled with my folly, 
They most must laugh. And why, sir, must they so ! 
The why is as plain as way to parish church. 
He that a fool doth very wisely hit, 
Doth very foolishly, although he smart, 
Not to seem senseless of the bob. If not, 
The wise man's folly is anatomised 
Even by the squandering glances of the fool. 

* * What then ? Let me see wherein 
My speech hath wronged him. If it do him right, 
Then he hath wronged himself ; if he be free, 
Why then, my taxing like a wild goose^flies, 
Unclaimed of any man." 

Now if there be " fools in the nineteenth century," as I 
devoutly hope there be,— men possessed with the belief of a 
Higher Law, Inalienable Rights, Supremacy of Conscience, and 
such like obsolete phantoms, and passing strange judgments on 
the deeds of men, and nations in the light thereof, — I beg to put 
in a similar plea for them. Give them leave to speak their 
minds. Now and then, it may be worth the pondering, and, 
heeded betimes, may, peradventure, save from calamity and ruin. 
If not, an attempt to enforce silence on fools — and is it not much 
the same with freemen ? — is likely to produce, not silence at all, 
but a greater outcry. And as for our great and wise men, when 
hit, let them conceal the smart, and profit by the lesson. But, 
for their own greatness' sake, and the honour of their wisdom, 
whether hit or not, let them never fall into a passion at the free- 
dom of men's speech, and cry, This must be put down. For it 
will not down at their bidding. 

But the subject refuses to be treated lightly. The vast 
interest at stake on both sides, and the immediate urgency of 
the crisis, compel the mind to sobriety and solicitude in the 



170 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



contemplation of it. No truly wise man will look upon the anti- 
slavery doctrine as mere folly, or on the promulgation of it as idle 
breath. It is the measureless power of that sentiment, and all 
its power lies in its truth — that wakens this alarm ; and it is the 
consciousness of holding such a weapon in their hands, that 
makes the anti-slavery masses at the North pause, lest, in 
attempting to use it for good, they should, unwittingly, do harm. 
For such a sentiment, who can fail to feel respect? Who would 
not despise himself if his own bosom were destitute of it ? But, 
by as much as I respect it in others, and would cherish it in 
myself, by so much will I resent all playing upon it by political 
men for party or personal ends, and fear lest it betray me into 
pusillanimity and inertness where the times demand action for 
humanity and God. It is a serious question for all honest anti- 
slavery men throughout the land, in what way they can most 
wisely and hopefully quit them of their responsibility in 
relation to this thing. Their actions as citizens should, un- 
questionably, be restricted by the just limits of their civil 
responsibility; as men by those of their moral responsibility. 
Even within those limits, they should act with a wise moderation, 
and in a generous spirit of candour and kindness. But one 
thing is abundantly certain, that by ignoring the responsibility, 
they do not get rid of it ; by turning their backs on the obliga- 
tion, they will not get it discharged. Still the terrible fact remains. 
Still the tears and blood of the enslaved are daily dropping 
on our count r?/s soil. Throw over it what veil of extenuation 
and excuse you may, the essential crime and shame remains. 
Believe as kindly as you can of the treatment which the slaves 
receive of humane and Christian masters ; it is only on condition 
that they first surrender their every right as men. Let them 
dare demur to that, and their tears and blood must answer it. 
That is the terrible fact ; and our country is the abettor, the 
protector, and the agent of the iniquity. Must we be indif- 
ferent ? May we be indifferent ? It is a question of tremendous 
import to every freeman in the land, who honestly believes that 
the rights he claims as a man are common to the race. 

We used to be told, and are somestimes still, that this is a 
matter which belongs to our Southern brethren exclusively, and 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 171 

that when we of the Free States interfere with it, we meddle 
with that which is " none of our business." And there was a 
time, when this might be urged with a show of consistency. It 
was when slavery claimed only to be a creature of State legisla- 
tion, and asked only of the national Government and the Free 
States to be let alone. Even then, it had no right of exemption 
from the rational scrutiny to which all human institutions are 
amenable, nor from the rebuke and denouncement which all 
men may, in Heaven's name, utter against all iniquity done in 
the face of Heaven. But the special right of republican citizens 
to demand the correction of wrongs done by their oicn govern- 
ment, attached in the matter of slavery only to the citizens of the 
slave States. 

But a wonderful change has been passing before our eyes. 
The attitude of slavery is entirely altered. It now claims to be 
nationalized. It demands a distinct recognition and active pro- 
tection from the general government, and indirect, but most 
effectual support from every State in the Union, and from every 
citizen thereof ! The government has acknowledged the validity 
of the claim ; and our great political leaders — some on whom 
we have been wont to rely as stahvart champions of freedom — 
have turned short round in their tracks, and require us to believe 
that we are under constitutional obligations to help maintain the 
accursed thing, — yea, through all future time, to do its most 
menial work ! Nor is the doctrine to be left in the dubious 
region of speculation. It is already " a fixed fact," terribly em- 
bodied in a penal law. It enters the home of every Northern 
freeman, and announces in thunder-tones this ancestral obliga- 
tion, which had so strangely faded from the recollections of men. 
It tolerates no dulness of apprehension, no hesitancy of belief. 
It bids us all, on pain of imprisonments and fines, to conquer 
our prejudices, to swallow our scruples, to be still with our non- 
sensical humanities, and, " as good citizens," to start out at the 
whistle of a United States' constable, to chase down miserable 
negroes fleeing from the hell of bondage ! 

Slavery, then, has become our business at last ; and, as such, 
does it not behove us to attend to it ? I think, in the language 
of honest Dogberry, that " that is proved already, and will go 



172 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



near to be thought so shortly." The thing lies in a nut-shell. 
Millard Fillmore is not our master, but our master, but our 
servant. It is not his to prescribe duties, but ours ; and his to 
perform them. What he does, in his own person and by his 
subordinate executive officers, he does for us, and on our respon- 
sibility. What he does or they do, in other w ords, we do ; 
and we must abide the reckoning. In this responsibility, the 
humblest citizen bears his share, and cannot shirk it if he would. 
When, then, I see the ministers of my country's law consigning 
men with flesh and blood like my own, with homes and business, 
with wives and children, 

As dear to them, as arc the ruddy drops 
That visit their sad hearts, 

men unaccused of crime, and eating the daily bread of honest 
labour — consigning them, I say, and their posterity to hopeless 
vassalage, and degrading chattelhood, by a process, too, which 
tramples under foot the most ancient and sacred guarantees of 
my own and my neighbour's rights. When I see this great nation 
lay its terrible grasp upon the throat of a feeble, unoffending man, 
and thrust him back to worse than a felon's fate for doing that 
which no casuistry can torture into a crime, I am compelled to feel 
that it is myself engaged in this atrocious business ; and no one 
but myself can rid me of the responsibility. I can no longer be 
silent ; I dare no longer be silent ; I will no longer be silent. 
I will remonstrate and cry, shame ! I will refuse to obey the 
law; I will demand to be released, and to have my country 
released, from its odious requirements. I will vote, and in- 
fluence voters, and use every prerogative of freedom, to throw 
at least from off my conscience a burden that it cannot bear. 
And who that is worthy to be free himself, will blame me ? To 
speak is no longer a mere right ; it has become a religious 
duty. 

Let no man tell me, that this law is a mere dead letter. The 
old Fugitive Law, had, indeed, become so ; and so would any 
other be likely to become, which, while grasping after the slave, 
should pay a decent respect to the rights of the free. But slavery 
cannot subsist on any such condition ; and this law was framed 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



173 



to supply the deficiencies of the old law, and to accomplish the 
thing. It is based on the assumption that the government of the 
United States is bound to effect the rendition of fugitives, if 
possible at all, at whatever cost. And, if this law is insufficient, 
the assumption i3 equally good for still more stringent measures. 
But 1 repeat it, let no man tell me it is now a nullity. Have we 
not seen it executed in our streets, and at our very doors ? I 
chanced to be in the city of New York at the time when, I think, 
its first victim, Henry Long, was torn from his family, and from 
a reputable and profitable business, and sent back, — limbs, and 
brain, and throbbing, loving heart — the husband, father, friend, 
the peaceful and industrious member of society, all, to be the 
property of a fellow-mortal in a hostile land. Could I look upon 
this crimeless man, thus in the grasp of the officers of my coun- 
try's laws, my own representatives, and hurried unresisting to 
that dreadful doom ; and ever be able to believe the law 
innocuous, and myself guiltless while I acquiesced in silence ? 
The rabble followed him along the streets, shouting in exultation 
at the negro's fate. Them I must acknowledge as my fellows 
and brethren, but him — on him I must put my heel, with theirs, 
to crush him out of manhood ! And the morrow's papers, edited 
by professed Christians, heralded the occurrence, with not even 
a decent pretence of pity and regret, but as a triumph of law, 
(0 sacred name profaned !) in which all good men should 
rejoice. That day I felt a stifling sensation settling down upon 
me, of which my previous experience had afforded no precedent, 
and with an oppressive weight which no language can describe. 
I felt that I no longer breathed the air of liberty ; that slavery 
was spreading her upas branches athwart my sky also. The 
convenient apology that the sin was not mine, but another's, no 
longer stood me in stead ; and I have wondered ever since to 
hear any honest Northern man employ it. There are Northern 
men, from whom nothing could surprise me. 

And what have we since witnessed ? The inferior officers of 
the law prowling throughout the North for victims on whom to 
enforce it. Their superiors, even to the highest, labouring by 
speeches and proclamations and joumeyings to an fro in the 
land (is it too much to say ?) to dragoon the people into its 



174 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



support. The national treasury thrown wide open to meet its 
'' extraordinary expenses." Fanueil Hall hung in chains, to 
ensure its execution. Presidental candidates vieing with each 
other in expressions of attachment and fidelity to it. Able men, 
in Church and State, spotted for proscription for no other sin 
than hating that law, and daring to declare that hatred. And to 
erown the whole, the wisdom of the nation, in Baltimore Con- 
ventions once and again assembled, pronouncing the new doctrines 
of constitutional responsibility, with the law that embodies it, not 
only a certainty, but — (hear it, O heavens !) a finality ! A new 
word in the political vocabulary, and verily a new thing in the 
earth ! " Finality,'' in the legislation of freemen ! A finality, 
that for ever precludes reconsideration, amendment, or repeal ! 
When such things are said, and gravely said, by men professing 
to be American statesmen, I can almost imagine the fathers of 
my country turning painfully in their graves. And can it be 
possible, that in the same breath with which men assume to roll 
political responsibilities on freemen, they dare require perpetual 
silence and unconsidering submission thereto ? Then, what is it 
to be free ? 

But let no one dream that these formidable pronouncements 
have any enduring force. It is natural, that Southern statesmen 
should seek, by every possible expedient, to keep out the flood of 
discussion from a system which can so illy bear it. And it is 
not strange, that Northern politicians should, for temporary 
purposes, assist them in the effort. This is for a day ; but the 
great tide of human thought flows on for ever, and there is no 
spot from which it will be shut out. I remember when the right 
of petition was denied by our Southern brethren, iu respect to 
this subject; and they found compliant tools enough from the 
North to work with for a season. But was the right of petition 
sacrificed ? Of course not. And is the right of free discussion, 
the right to make and (if we please) unmake our laws less 
precious ? This subject will be agitated. This law will be recon- 
sidered ; and, if it is not repealed, it w ill be for the same reasons 
that ensures the continuance of other laws, namely, because it is 
able to sustain severe and ever recurring scrutiny. 

But what is to become of the Union meanwhile ? One thing 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



175 



is very certain. If it deliberately places itself in competition 
with those M blessings of liberty," which it was created to "se- 
cure," it ought to fall. Shall the end be sacrificed to preserve 
the means, to which the end alone gives value ? And what are 
we to think of the statesmanship of those, who, to effect that 
preservation, would force such an issue on a people nursed at the 
breasts of freedom ? I would rather die than live a traitor to 
my country ; but let me die ten thousand deaths before I prove 
treacherous to freedom and to God. "If this be treason, make 
the most of it." 

But it is worse than idle to talk so. There is no such issue 
before the nation. We are not compelled to choose between 
disunion and slavery ; a slavery, too, that would not only hold 
the black man in its remorseless gripe, but put its fetters on the 
conscience of the white man, and its gag into his mouth. Our 
Southern brethren themselves, even to save their cherished 
institution, would not dare, would not desire to press such an 
alternative. Were it so, who would not be ready to surrender 
the Union as valueless to him, and to part company with South- 
rons as men unworthy to be free ? But it is not so. There are 
Hotspurs, doubtless, enough of them at the South ; and Jehus, 
too many, at the North. And there are cunning politicians to 
stand between the two sections, and play upon the prejudices 
of both, and into each other's hands, for selfish ends. But the 
great heart of the nation, North and South, on the whole and 
according to the measure of its understanding, beats true alike to 
freedom and the constitution, — true to that immortal sentiment 
which, as long as this nation endures, shall encircle its author's 
name with a halo, in whose splendour some later w ords that have 
fallen from his lips will be happily lost and forgotten : " Liberty 
and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable." "Whatever 
differences there may be as to the nature, conditions, and obliga- 
tions of freedom, or as to the intent and meaning of the con- 
stitution, no party among the people will refuse to submit them 
to the ordeal of discussion, and the arbitrament of the appointed 
tribunals. 

While this is so, let him be deemed the traitor, who stands up 
before the world, and belies his country by declaring it to be 



176 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



otherwise. And let every man prepare to enter into those dis- 
cussions which no human power can now stave off, in a spirit of 
intelligent candour and kindness, but, at the same time of in- 
flexible fidelity to God and man. 



A 




AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



177 



PLACIDO. 



The true wealth and glory of a nation consist not in its gold 
dust, nor in its commerce, nor in the grandeur of its palaces, nor 
yet in the magnificence of its cities, — but in the intellectual and 
moral energy of its people. Egypt is more glorious because of 
her carrying into Greece the blessings of civilization, than be- 
cause of her Pyramids, however wondrous, her lakes and laby- 
rinths, however stupendous, or her Thebes, though every square 
marked a palace, or every alley a dome. Who hears of the 
moneyed men of Athens, of Rome ? And who does not hear 
of Socrates, of Plato, of Demosthenes, of Virgil, of Cicero ? 
Are you in converse with him of the "Sea-girt Isle," and 
would touch the chord that vibrates most readily in his heart ? — 
then talk to him of Shakspeare, of Milton, of Cowper, of Bacon, 
of Newton ; of Burns, of Scott. To the intelligent son of the 
"Emerald Isle,'' talk of Curran, of Emmett, of O'Connell. 

Great men are a nation's vitality. Nations pass away, — great 
men, never. Great men are not unfrequently buried in dun- 
geons or in obscurity ; but they work out great thoughts for all 
time, nevertheless. Did not Bunyan work out a great thought 
all- vital and vitalizing, when he lay twelve years in Bedford jail, 
weaving his tagged lace, and writing his Pilgrim's Progress ? 
The greatest man in all America is now in obscurity. It is he 
who is " the Lord of his own soxd^ on whose brow wisdom has 
marked her supremacy, and who, in his sphere, moves 

** Stilly as a star, on his eternal way." 

A great writer hath said, " Nature is stingy of her great 
men." I do not believe it. God doeth all his work fitly and 

M 



178 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



well ; how, therefore, could he give us great men, not plentifully, 
but stingily ? The truth is, there are great men, and they are 
plentiful, — plentiful for the times, I mean, — but we do not see 
them, because we will not come into the sun-light of truth and 
rectitude where, and where only, dwelleth greatness. 

Placido was a great man. He was a great poet besides. He 
was a patriot, also, — how could he be otherwise ? Are not all 
poets patriots ? 

" Adios Mundo," cried he, as with tear-bedimmed eyes he 
looked up into the blue heavens above him, and upon the green 
earth beneath him ; and upon the portals of the universe read 
wisdom, majesty, and power. Was there no poetry in this out- 
burst of a full heart, and in this looking upw r ard to heaven ? 
u Adios Mundo," cried he, as now beholding, for the last time, 
the home of his love, — he bared his bosom to the death-shot of 
the soldiers. 

vireat was Placido in life, — he was greater still in death. His 
was the faith which fastens itself upon the everlasting i am. 

Call you that greatness which Pizarro achieved when, seizing 
a sword and drawing a line upon the sand from east to west, he 
himself facing the south, he said to his band of pirates — 
16 Friends, comrades, on that side are toil, hanger, nakedness, the 
drenching storm, desertion, and death ; on this side, ease and 
pleasure. There lies Peru icith its richness ; here Panama with 
its poverty. Choose each man what best becomes a brave Cas- 
tillian. For my part I go to the south;"' — suiting the action to 
the word ? So do I, — but look ye, this is merely the greatness 
of overwhelming energy and concentrated purpose, not illumi- 
nated by a single ray of light from the Divine. See here, how 
Placido dwarfeth Pizarro when he thus prayeth, 

" God of unbounded love, and power eternal ! 
To Thee I turn in darkness and despair ; 
Stretch forth Thine arm, and from the brow r infernal 
Of calumny the veil of justice tear! 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



179 



O, King of kings ! — my father's God ! — who only 
Art strong to save, by whom is all controlled, — 

Who giv'st the sea its waves, the dark and lonely 
Abyss of heaven its light, the North its cold, 

The air its currents, the warm sun its beams, 
Life to the flowers, and motion to the streams : 

All things obey Thee; dying or reviving 
As Thou commandest ; all apart from Thee, 

From Thee alone their life and power deriving, 
Sink and are lost in vast eternity ! 
* * * * 

• O, merciful God ! I cannot shun Thy presence, 
For through its veil of flesh, Thy piercing eye 
Looketh upon my spirit's unsoiled essence, 

As through the pure transparence of the sky ; 
Let not the oppressor clap his bloody hands, 
As o'er my prostrate innocence he stands. 

But if, alas, it seemeth good to Thee 

That I should perish as the guilty dies, 
Still, fully in me, Thy will be done, O God ! " 

Placido had a symmetrically developed character. All great 
men have this. His intellectual and moral nature blended har- 
moniously as 

"Kindred elements into one." 

An ancient philosopher hath said that the passions and the soul 
are placed in the same body, so that the passions might have 
ready opportunity to persuade the soul to become subservient to 
their purpose. A terrible conflict. And yet through it Placido 
passed triumphantly. 

Placido was born a slave on the island of Cuba, on the planta- 
tion of Don Terribio De Castro. The year of his birth I am 
unable to give, but it must have been somewhere between the 



180 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



years 1790 and 1800. He was of African origin. But little is 
known of his earliest days save that he was of gentle demeanor, 
and wore an aspect which, though mild, indicated the working 
of great thoughts within. He was allowed some little advantage 
of education in his youth, and he evinced great poetic genius. 
The prayer just quoted was composed by him while he lay in 
prison, and repeated on his way from his dungeon to his place of 
execution. 

The Heraldo, a leading journal of Havanna, thus spoke of him 
after his arrest : — 

" Placido is a celebrated poet, — a man of great genius, but too 
wild and ambitious. His object was to subdue Cuba, and make 
himself the chief." 

The following lines, also, were found inscribed upon the walls 
of his dungeon. They were written on the day previous to his 
execution. 

" Liberty ! I wait for thee, 

To break this chain, and dungeon bar ; 
I hear thy voice calling me, 
Deep in the frozen North, afar, 

'With voice like God's, and vision like a star. 

Long cradled in the mountain wind, 

Thy mates, the eagle and tbe storm : 
Arise ; and from thy brow unbind 
The wreath that gives its starry form, 
And smite the strength, that would thy strength deform. 

Yet Liberty ; thy dawning light, 

Obscured by dungeon bars, shall cast 
A splendour on the breaking night, 
And tyrants, flying thick and fast, 
Shall tremble at tby gaze, and stand aghast." 

In poetic feeling, patriotic spirit, living faith, and w T ithal 
in literary beauty, these lines are not surpassed ; and they 
cannot fail to rank Placido not only with the great-hearted, 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



181 



but with the gifted men of the earth. A tribute to his 
genius is recorded in the fact, that he was ransomed from 
slavery by the contributions of slave-holders of Cuba. 

Placido was executed on the 7th of July, 1844. On the 
first fire of the soldiers, no ball entered his heart. He looked 
up, but with no spirit of revenge, no aspect of defiance, — only 
sat upon his countenance the desire to pass at once into the 
region where no death is. 

" Pity me," said he, u and fire here," — putting his hand 
upon his heart. Two balls then entered his body, and 
Placido fell. 

As Wordsworth said of Touissant, so may it be said of 
Placido, — ■ 

" Thou hast left behind thee 
Powers that work for thee ; air, earth, and skies. 
There's not a breathing of the common wind 
That will forget thee ; thou hast great allies, 
Thy friends are exultations, agonies, 
A love, and man's unconquerable mind." 

The charge against Placido was, that he was at the head of 
a conspiracy to overthrow slavery in his native island. 
Blessings on thee, Placido ! Nor didst thou fail of thy mission. 
Did the martyrs, stake-bound, fail of theirs 1 As the Lord 
liveth, Cuba shall yet be free. 

That Placido was at the head of this conspiracy there is 
not a doubt ; but what his plans in detail were, I know not ; 
the means of acquiring them are not within my reach. 
Nevertheless, from the treatment throughout of the Cuban 
authorities towards Placido, we may safely conclude that 
Placido's plan in detail evinced no lack of ability to originate 
and execute, nor of that sagacity which should mark a revo- 
lutionary leader. Placido hated slavery with a hatred 
intensified by the remembrance of wrongs which a loving 
and loved mother had borne. The iron, too, had entered into 
his own soul ; and he had been a daily witness of scenes 
such as torment itself could scarcely equal, nor the pit itself 



182 



AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREEDOM. 



outdo. Call you this extravagance ? You will not, — 
should you but study a single chapter in the history of Cuban 
slavery. 

Do you honour Kossuth ? — then forget not him who is 
worthy to stand side by side with Hungary's illustrious son. 

What may be the destiny of Cuba in the future near at 
hand, I will not venture to predict. What may be her 
ultimate destiny is written in the fact that, — " God hath no 
attribute which, in a contest between the oppressed and the 
oppressor, can take sides with the latter." 

This sketch, though hastily written, and meagre in detail 
as it must necessarily be, will show, at least, by the quotations 
of poetry introduced, that God hath not given to one race 
alone, all intellectual and moral greatness. 




183 



TO THE FRIENDS OF NEGRO 
EMANCIPATION. 

The following powerful Appeal, reprinted from the u Uncle 
Tom's Cabin Almanack " will not, it is hoped, be deemed an 
inappropriate termination of this most interesting Volume : 

Many of the interpreters of prophecy consider that England 
is one of " the ten horns " of the beast, or Roman power, re- 
ferred to by the Apostle John. It is also allowed that, in the 
highly figurative and varied language of Scripture, the mon- 
ster of the Apocalypse is the same as the image of Daniel, 
whose feet were partly strong and partly fragile. In a being 
that has to stand, walk, fight, and run, very much depends 
upon the lower members. The physical man of Louis XVIII. 
was very kingly as far as his hips, but his extremities were 
feeble, and it was a poor affair when he attempted to walk. 
ISTow this is the very spirit of Daniel's description of the Roman 
power. It had no good legs and feet to stand upon, for they 
were part of iron and part of clay, partly strong and partly 
fragile. As a limb of old Rome, we are at present in this very 
predicament. Thank God, we have a great deal of " iron " 
among us, both metallic, mental, and moral ; but we have an 
enormous quantity of the old Pagan " clay" and hence our 
strength and our weakness. 

Passing over a host of subjects which might illustrate what 
we have just stated, we now refer only to the slavery question. 
Here we are strong, and we are also feeble. The twenty 
millions we paid for the emancipation of our slaves in the 
West Indies was one of the most generous acts of the na- 
tion, especially if we consider the burden of taxation under 
which we were then groaning, Such a sacrifice at the shrine 
of cupidity, for the noble and glorious object of bursting 
the yoke of the captive, exhibited no small degree of moral 
principle and power. But some beheld in this munificent 
price the " clay " blended with the " iron." Not a few of the 
anti-slavery labourers were growing tired of the agitation. 
The task had been an arduous one — had demanded considerable 



184 



TO THE FRIENDS OF 



toil and incurred much, odium. The philanthropists were stig- 
matised as " the saints" as " canting hypocrites" and by other 
terms equally expressive of the ire and malignity of their op- 
ponents ; and while there were numbers among us who were 
willing to suffer any kind of martyrdom in this good cause, 
there was a still greater multitude who had been galvanised, 
rather than vitally quickened into activity, and longed, from 
the inert characters of their hearts and benevolence, to relapse 
again into their wonted apathy. The money therefore was 
paid down quite as much to release these worried philanthro- 
pists from travail, as to meet any supposed equitable claim of 
the slave-holder ; and no sooner was the contract of emancipa- 
tion sealed than these soldiers of humanity threw off their 
armour, and retired from the fray ; and hence, though slavery 
has been abolished in our colonies, it has been allowed to vege- 
tate and grow in the United States and elsewhere. 

Now all this showed that we were not sound at heart. 
Because the negroes perishing under the iron sceptre of the 
American [Republican were just as much " our bone and our 
flesh" as the victims of West Indian bondage. It is true we 
had more control over the condition of the one than the 
other, because the one was our fellow- subject, and the other 
was not ; but still this very fact, instead of being a reason for 
inactivity, ought to have furnished a motive for more ener- 
getic operations. Even the brutish horse puts forth extra 
strength when the burden increases, or when a hill is to be 
climbed ; and we need scarcely add that generally among 
beasts and men the greater the foe the more vigorous the 
effort to overcome him ; but, strange to say, in the anti- 
slavery cause, we reversed this common mode of proceeding, 
and, because the enemy was powerful, our exertions to van- 
quish him became proportionably feeble ! We know that 
many will ask what could we have done ? But then the 
very question betrays the state of their hearts. True philan- 
thropy is never at a loss for expedients to accomplish her 
benevolent purpose, and therefore never retires because there 
is a lion or a mountain in the way. Its faith can stop the 
mouth of the one, or slay him altogether, and remove the 
other into the midst of the sea. Before we close this paper, 
w T e shall, perhaps, show that if we had not been weary in 
well doing, we might have brought an immense amount of 
influence against American slavery, which, long before this, 
would have produced the most happy results. 

There was one circumstance which especially contributed 
to paralyse our efforts for the emancipation of American 



NEGRO EMANCIPATION. 



185 



slaves. Just about the time that we liberated our brethren 
iu the British colonies, we heard a great deal about revivals 
of religion in the United States, and we were told that the 
Spirit from on high was poured out on transatlantic churches 
and congregations in almost Pentecostal abundance ; and 
what was more astonishing, the slave-holders were said to be 
remarkably favoured with these supposed tokens of Divine 
favour. The writer remembers that in those days, when he 
was about to offer some remarks at an anti-slavery meeting, 
he was called aside by a minister of religion, and especially 
reminded of the great piety of many of the slave-owners, and 
therefore exhorted to be very tender in his animadversions ! 
He was allowed to be as severe as he pleased on the poor 
ignorant, blind, dead, unconverted traffickers in human flesh ! 
bnt the enlightened, pious, spiritual holders of slaves were, 
forsooth, to be treated with the utmost lenity ! ! Our Saviours 
rule was thus to be reversed ; for he who knew his Lord's 
will and did things worthy of stripes, was to be beaten with 
few stripes ! but he who knew not his Lord's will, was to be 
beaten with many stripes ! ! 

That the people of England should have allowed themselves 
to be duped in this manner, is almost equal to an eighth wonder 
of the world. Why, there is as great probability that the Holy 
Spirit will be poured out upon Satan as upon men and women 
who for ki paltry pelf " hold their brethren in bondage. Had 
such a phenomenon taken place, the very first fruit would have 
been the breaking "of every yoke." Strange that pcoplewho 
read the New Testament should have supposed that the Holy 
Ghost could have been granted to the worst of tyrants without 
destroying their tyranny and rendering them abolitionists. A real 
Christian man never " confers with flesh and blood." Poverty, 
dungeons, racks, losses, and tortures of every kind, are cheerfully 
endured in the cause of humanity, justice, liberty, and religion, 
and therefore a slave-holder endued w ith the special influences 
of the Holy Spirit would instantly have braved penury and 
death rather than have continued to retain in bondage his poor 
brethren and sisters. 

The sum and substance of all true religion is love to God and 
love to man, and when the Spirit is poured out on any individual 
or body of individuals, he sheds abroad the love of God in the 
heart; and this invariably exhibits itself in benevolence of life. 
The apostle John is plain even to what some would call bluntness 
on this matter. "If a man say 'I love God,' and hateth his 
brother, he is a liar ; for he that loveth not is brother whom he 
hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen ? And 



186 



TO THE FRIENDS OF 



this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God, 
loves his brother also." Now the negro is both " neighbour" and 
" brother " to his master, and unless his owner loves him as he 
loves himself, he has no real religion, and not one particle of 
evidence that the Spirit has been poured out upon him, or that 
the love of God has been shed abroad in his heart by the Holy 
Ghost. It was therefore the height of absurdity to talk of a 
revival of religion in the heart of any one so long as he held his 
brother in bondage ; because he does not love him as he loves 
himself, and consequently is a stranger to the Jove of God and to 
vital Christianity. Love to our brother, prompting us to give 
him equal rights and blessings with ourselves, whatever may be 
his colour or country, is a perfect window to the soul, and renders 
the heart transparent. On the contrary, the plain language of 
John, which we have just quoted, assures us that every individual 
who professes to love God while he does not love his brother, is 
" a liar* 1 And it must be remembered that the love of which 
John speaks is not that sickly sort of charity which will bestow 
a few pence or privileges on a brother while we rob him of 
liberty and his natural rights, but it is that " perfect love " which 
loves every human being as we love ourselves, and will make 
any sacrifice for the purpose of developing this love. 

We may congratulate the real friends of emancipation on 
the progress of public opinion in this affair. Our churches 
refuse communion with slave - holders. We deny their 
Christianity. Their deeds show that they are strangers to 
the love of God. They have not learnt the A B C of the 
Gospel : they sacrifice everything to gain. Mammon is their 
god, and to enrich themselves and their families they traffic 
in human flesh and blood. They do violence to every natural 
affection which J ehovah has implanted in the human soul, 
and thus offer one of the greatest insults to the Majesty of 
Heaven. The great curse of the slave is that God has 
created him a human being. He suffers severely from the 
chain, the scourge, and other instruments of cruelty ; but the 
greatest of all torments is his possession of a heart. Slaves, 
to be happy, ought to be created without any susceptibilities. 
Love is the cement of society, and the angel which blesses all 
the relations of life. A world of love w r ould be a second 
paradise, and the bright reflection of heaven and of the 
Deity. " God is love." No tongue can tell, no heart can 
conceive the unspeakable blessings and joys which spring 
from the tender aflections of parents, children, husbands, 
wives, brothers, sisters, and friends. What would life be 
without these ? God has so constituted us that there can 



NEGRO EMANCIPATION. 



187 



be no real happiness without love ; and yet this precious 
feeling, which conies to us fresh from the heart of the Deity, 
constitutes the Negro's hell upon earth. Talk of racks, 
dungeons, thumb-screws, and other tortures of the Inquisition, 
slavery embodies them all. To tear relatives from relatives, 
and friends from friends ; to sever the brother from the sister, 
the husband from the wife, and the child from its mother, 
inflicts far more suffering on the soul than any outward 
scourge can lay on the body. Consequently slavery is the 
monster of monsters, and the slave-holder is the head an dchief 
of all tyrants who have ever cursed the world. He shall 
therefore no longer stand before us in the garb of Christianity, 
but shall be exhibited to the world as the lowest, worst, and 
basest of all criminals, and as such he shall be refused the 
right hand of fellowship, and expelled from the pale of the 
Christian Church. 

Nothing has ever augured better for the cause of emanci- 
pation than the popularity of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." The 
benevolent authoress has thrown so many bewitching charms 
into her narrative, that she has fascinated every one, .and may 
justly be called the Enchantress of the age. She is read by 
all ranks and classes. We are amused everywhere by the 
sight of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." We meet the little British 
National Schoolboy going home and reading his " Uncle Tom," 
as affording him greater amusement than his hoop, his top, or 
his marbles. And we find the grave divine and scholar, in 
the first-class railway carriage, with his more costly u Uncle 
Tom." We see the lady in her chariot, who has gone out for 
a ride to enjoy /the scenery, and taste the breeze of heaven, 
beguiled from surrounding objects by the touching pages of 
Mr. Stowe. We have witnessed a whole family of children to 
turn from every other pursuit and amusement to enjoy this 
mental and moral treat. It has come with them to their 
meals, and yielded them such a repast that the luxuries of 
the table were almost unheeded. And then the servants also 
sought it at every interval, and read it with avidity by 
stealth. In a word, it is the favourite of the and saint the 
sinner, the sage and the frivolous, the believer and the unbe- 
liever, theyoung and the old, the grave and the gay, the 
learned and the illiterate, the rude and the polished, the sad 
and the cheerful. And nothing could be more opportune for 
the cause of humanity. Mrs. Stowe must hereafter take her 
stand by the side of Clarkson, Wilberforce, and others, as one 
of the chief instruments raised up by Providence to burst 
the fetters of the slave, and let the oppressed go free. 



188 



TO THE FRIENDS OF 



We trust, indeed we feel sure, that the slumbering embers 
of anti-slavery zeal will, by means of this volume, be kindled 
into active power. We have influence enough among us to- 
move the world on this topic, and all that we require is co- 
operation and union. The pulpit, the press, and the plat- 
form must speak out once more, and by its thunders shake 
the whole world of slavery. Already the old theme is firing 
the British heart. Week after week the Morning Advertiser 
appeals and instructs and arouses. Nor has it laboured in 
vain. Far and near the friends of the slave look to it as 
their tower of strength. In America we have a goodly num- 
ber of abolitionists as our fellow-helpers, and u Uncle Tom's 
Cabin" will increase them a thousandfold. The book speaks 
to the intellect, the reason, and the heart. Women are said 
to possess an innate power of arriving at truth, without em- 
ploying the tedious metaphysics of men, and here we have a 
glorious example. In " Uncle Tom's Cabin" w^e have logic 
stripped of its dryness, and clothed with all the charms of 
romance. We would as soon believe in the power of the 
planters to reverse the revolutions of the planets as to resist 
the influence of Mrs. Stowe. The voice of humanity is the 
voice of God, and is essentially omnipotent. As a punish- 
ment for not having listened to this divine oracle, the slave- 
holders must have the humiliation of being vanquished by a 
woman. And, after all, what more natural than that the 
woes of our race should owe their softest, sweetest, and con- 
sequently most powerful, utterances to the heart of the sex 
which was created to bless the world with its tenderest 
sympathies. 

We are thus placed on a vantage ground from which it would 
be base to retire, especially as we have been raised thus high by 
the talent and benevolence of a female. Christian chivalry has 
now open before it a race of glory, compared with which the 
tilts and tournaments of the olden time are the veriest trifles. 
The whole country is baptised with anti- slavery zeal, just ready 
to burst forth in every possible way to emancipate the slave. We 
must have public meetings everywhere. 

The " braying of Exeter Hall," like the ass of Balaam, has, in 
ten thousand instances, rebuked the madness of our modern false 
prophets, who, from love of filthy lucre, have gone forth to curse 
God's Israel, because they have left the house of bondage. It 
is only for the friends of humanity once more to gird themselves 
for their work, and in a few years there will be another and more 
extensive triumph over the foes of liberty and the negro. 

We cm also expostulate. The life of William Allen shows 



NEGRO EMANCIPATION. 



189 



how powerful the voice of an unofficial individual may be, when 
that voice is the voice of reason, justice, and philanthropy. He 
brought the tyrants of Europe on their knees before the Majesty 
of Heaven, and there constrained them to ameliorate the laws 
which oppressed their subjects. Why should not the diplomacy 
of England be christianised ? If this had been done years ago, 
we might have converted Napoleon into a man of peace, and 
saved the nation a thousand millions of taxation. Humanity is 
the genius of economy. Christian diplomacy would long ago 
have burst the fetters of the continent, and could now effect 
wonders in every part of the globe. It is left with the electors 
to say, whether foreign ambassadors, consuls, &c, shall continue 
to be the mere minions of mammon, or become the missionaries 
of justice and philanthropy. But supposing we failed here, there 
is power beyond that of bureaucratic officials ; the denunciations 
we utter against the rulers of the slave will be carried by the 
birds of the air to the ears of these tyrants, and make their 
hearts quiver and knees shake like those of Belshazzar. The 
words of justice require no patent from courts to render them 
authoritative. The stamp of Heaven is upon them, and though 
spoken by a Paul in chains, they pierce the hearts of despots and 
make them tremble. We mistake if we suppose that conscience 
is altogether dead in the souls of slave-holders. Heaven has 
decreed that the wretch who is deaf to the small still voice of 
duty and mercy, shall be horrified by the thunders of guilt, and 
feel a hell within. " Haley," hoping to cheat the devil when he 
has made his fortune; and " Legree " trembling for fear of 
ghosts and hobgoblins, are no creatures of fiction, but the truth- 
ful delineations of the conscious degradation and forebodings of 
the trader in human blood. 

And further, cannot consistency utter a plea ? There is 
nothing, perhaps, at which men labour more earnestly than 
to appear consistent. But w 7 hat fellowship can there be 
between liberty and slavery ? Slavery is a foul blot on the 
escutcheon of the United States ; and every patriotic American 
feels it to be so. Here, in the land of liberty, Freedom 
receives her deepest wound in the house of her vaunting 
friends. The enemies of tyranny over the world are taunted 
with the despotism of the American democrat. The infidel 
of our day draws his most potent arguments from the vices 
and faults of professing Christians ; and the advocates of 
despotism act in the same manner, and procure their artillery 
from the barbarism of American slave-holders. We must 
then assail this inconsistency until the guilty parties blush 
and are ashamed. The continual dropping of water will wear 



190 



TO THE FRIENDS OF 



away stones, and the persevering reiterations of truth shall 
eventually prevail, and make even slave-holders relent and 
listen to the voice of consistency and humanity. 

We have had among us glorious specimens of what the 
slave can be. To those who talk of his inferior powers and 
limited rights, we point to such men as Frederick Douglass, 
"Wells Brown, Henson, Garnett, and Dr. Pennington. It was 
our privilege to enter the hall at Heidelberg, just as the 
academy conferred on Dr. Pennington his diploma. And is 
this the man that the slave-holder would sell as he would a 
horse or bullock ] "What is the reply of humanity to this 
question ? I need not dwell on the mind, talents, and piety of 
Brown, Henson, or Garnett. The country has long since 
borne witness to these. Exeter-hall has often resounded with 
the loftiest strains of eloquence, but never has it listened to a 
more intellectual, eloquent, and soul-stirring tongue, than 
that of Frederick Douglass, and yet this is the man, on whose 
head the planters have set a price, because he obeyed the 
voice of nature and of God in running away from the horrors 
of slavery. But why advance these examples ? There is not 
a field of slaves, a slave-market, or a negro cabin, but pro- 
claims the equality of the African with the rest of the human 
family. The tears, cries, and broken hearts which every 
separation by the dealer occasions, proclaim that the sympa- 
thies of the slave are equal to those of the rest of mankind. 
Every argument used by these sons and daughters of bondage, 
every prayer they offer, every speech they make, and every 
sermon they preach, prove that all the essentials of soul 
belong to them in as much native richness as to us. 'Tis true 
everything has been done to degrade them. The cruelties 
practised by Simon the cobbler to deprave and demoralise the 
Dauphin of France, and which awakened the execration of 
the world, are every day being followed by the planters of 
America. "What if any of us had had the sphere of our 
knowledge contracted to the smallest span, and our language 
confined to a few words of the most outlandish patois, is there 
one man among us that would surpass them in their present 
condition ? Where would Milton, Sbakspeare, or Newton 
have been imder such training ? Considering the debasing 
education to which they have been doomed, the slaves are 
our equals, if not our superiors ; every part of their history 
shows the truth of the words of our poet — 

" Fleecy locks and black complexion, 
Cannot forfeit Nature's claim ; 



NEGRO EMANCIPATION. 



191 



Skins may differ, but affection 
Dwells in black and white the same ; 

Deem our nation brutes no longer, 

Till some reason ye shall find, 
Worthier of regard and stronger 

Than the colour of our kind. 

Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings 
Tarnish all your boasted powers, 

Prove that you have human feelings 
Ere you proudly question ours." 

The passing of " The Fugitive Slave Bill" adds strength to 
our cause. This measure has shocked every human heart ; 
it has libelled humanity ; it has sunk the Republican below 
most of the tyrants that have ever scourged society ; it has 
insulted the world, and blasphemed the Eternal. It com- 
mands and compels free men to become informers and kid- 
nappers, and thus degrades them below the meanest of our 
race. It is an attempt to render freedom the slave of slavery. 
A viler law has never degraded any statute book. However, 
its iniquity and its cruelty have aroused thousands to action 
who before were asleep ; and when the history of the eman- 
cipation of American slaves shall be written, the narrator 
will triumphantly relate that the infamous u Fugitive Slave 
Bill" very greatly hastened this glorious consummation. 

We have also another material aid in the clerical teachings 
of pro-slavery priests and preachers. We shall hereafter 
have to thank Dr. Spring, of New York ; Dr. Parker, of 
Philadelphia ; Dr. Stuart, of Andover ; Dr. Spencer, of 
Brooklyn ; the Right Rev. Bishop Hopkins, of Yermont ; 
and a host of other reverends ; for their advocacy of the 
cause of slavery. This outrage on Christianity by its own 
ministers has shocked the whole Christian world. Even the 
planters despise these sycophants. To hear men in the sacred 
desk, and in the name of the Redeemer of the world, advo- 
cate a system which cherishes ignorance, vice, debauchery, 
dishonesty, and murder, out-Herods anything that was ever 
taught by the most depraved heathens and infidels. Even 
Pagans had their dark groves and other midnight recesses 
for their sensual orgies. No atheist or barbarian has yet 
taught that the infant should be torn from the breast of its 
mother, and sold like a swine to the murderous dealer in 
human flesh. It was left for the 19th century, and doctors 
of divinitv in a Christian garb, to arrive at this depree of 



192 TO THE FRIENDS OF NEGRO EMANCIPATION. 



blasphemy, impiety, and immorality. Weil, we thank them 
for their teachings, we contratnlate them for their boldness 
in iniquity, and we will repeat their sayings until we make 
every ear in Christendom tingle with their presumption and 
inhumanity. 

We have thus briefly shown that the friends of the slave 
have every thing on their side, and may now make a noble 
stand in the cause of liberty. Providence is remarkably 
appearing on their behalf, and pointing out the path of duty 
and victory. " Is not the Lord gone up before us." As far 
as England is concerned, the odium of an anti-slavery move- 
ment has passed away. " Uncle Tom's Cabin" has rekindled 
the zeal of the lukewarm, and baptized with holy fire my- 
riads who before cared nothing for the negro. Let us only 
do our duty, and this foul blot on humanity and daring insult 
to the Deity shall ere long become the history of a by-gone 
age ; and a few years hence the system shall be deemed too 
monstrous to be believed but as a myth of some misanthrophe 
who felt a malignant pleasure in libelling his species. 



[entered at stationers' hall.] 



John Cassell, Ludgate-hill.